Restructuring pushes BCE revenues, profits down; Bell Canada increases turnover

30 Oct 2008

Canadian telecoms group BCE has posted a 0.4% year-on-year drop in third-quarter consolidated revenues to CAD4.46 billion (USD3.54 billion), whilst net profit fell 36.4% to CAD280 million, and EBITDA decreased by 1.4% to CAD1.768 billion. The group said that revenue growth at Bell Canada was offset by lower revenues at Bell Aliant and the loss of contributions from Telesat, the satellite operator it recently sold. In the three months to 30 September 2008 BCE’s operating income decreased by 27.6% on a yearly basis to CAD654 million due to higher restructuring and other charges at Bell Canada and to the loss of Telesat.

Bell Canada’s revenues climbed by 1.8% y-o-y in the period to CAD3.757 billion, with EBITDA of CAD1.425 billion, up 2.4% on the same quarter last year. The telco’s wireless division’s customer base reached 6.449 million users at the end of September, up 7.1% over last year. Bell’s wireline division reached 2.046 million high speed internet connections at the same date, an increase of 3.6% compared to the end of Q3 2007. Local fixed access lines in service declined by 10% year-on-year however, contributing to local telephony revenues dropping by 7.4% to CAD833 million and long-distance sales falling by 5.2% to CAD290 million. This was partly offset by fixed data/internet revenues rising 3.8% to CAD913 million. Bell Aliant’s revenues decreased 1.3% in the quarter to CAD821 million due primarily to the wind-down of Atlantic Mobility Products (AMP) following Bell Canada’s notification to terminate its contract to use AMP as its exclusive distributor in Atlantic Canada. Bell Aliant’s stand-alone results were reported in a previous announcement.