Strong subscriber growth at its wireless subsidiary has helped push Verizon Communications’ first-quarter net profits up 9.8% to USD1.64 billion. Revenues climbed 5.5% year-on-year to USD23.83 billion, while operating income rose from USD3.80 billion to USD4.33 billion. ‘Verizon has weathered the current economic uncertainty with strong first-quarter results,’ the company’s Chairman and CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, commented.
55%-owned cellular business Verizon Wireless reported revenues of USD11.67 billion for the three months to the end of March, up from USD10.31 billion in the year-ago period, and operating income was up 19.3% at USD3.26 billion. The firm added 1.5 million net new wireless subscribers in the first quarter, taking its total customer base to 67.18 million. In comparison, larger rival AT&T added 1.3 million net new customers in Q1 2008 to reach 71.37 million users. Verizon said 1.3 million of its new subscribers signed up on long-term contracts and this helped push retail monthly ARPU up 1.3% to USD51.40. Verizon’s core wireline business saw revenues drop 1.4% y-o-y to USD12.29 billion, while operating income was down 4.5% at USD1.08 billion. The number of residential access lines fell 10.9% from a year earlier to 24.11 million, while the total wireline base dropped 8.2% to 40.52 million. There was a 14.9% rise in broadband internet connections, however, with customer numbers reaching 8.5 million at the end of March. It added 263,000 customers at its FiOS fibre-based TV service, taking the total to 1.2 million.