Shaw enough, profits fall and wireless investment suspended

24 Oct 2008

Canadian cableco Shaw Communications announced yesterday that its net income for the three months ended 31 August fell to CAD132 million (USD105 million), down from CAD136 million a year earlier, despite revenues that rose 13% year-on-year to CAD806 million. In its fiscal fourth quarter Shaw said it added 24,785 cable broadband internet customers to reach a total of 1,565,962, and its digital fixed line phone users grew by 61,999 to 611,931. Basic cable subscribers increased by 4,122 to 2,248,120, and its digital TV subscriber base grew by 23,020 to 906,320. Alongside the results announcement, Shaw said that it does not plan to invest in start-up wireless operations in 2009, despite spending CAD189.5 million on 18 spectrum concessions in western Canada and the Prairie provinces in a recent frequency auction. Shaw had previously said it would invest up to CAD400 million to build a mobile network. CEO Jim Shaw’s comment that his firm’s entry into the wireless market will be ‘measured and prudent’ was in contrast to Shaw’s Quebec-based cable counterpart Videotron’s announcement earlier this week that it will invest up to CAD1 billion over the next four years to roll out a 3.5G network, which should be up and running within 18 months.

Canada, Shaw Communications