Videotron’s subscriber gains underwhelm; mobile investment drags down parent’s results

27 May 2011

Quebec-based quadruple-play cableco and wireless operator Videotron added a net 11,500 broadband internet customers and 15,500 cable telephony subscribers in the three months ended 31 March 2011, although its lost a net 3,000 basic cable TV users in the quarter. During the same period Videotron raised the number of users of its 3G mobile network – launched last September – by 28,600 to 143,600, including some customers who transferred from its previous MVNO service provided over rival Rogers’ network. The Q1 report from parent Quebecor, a Montreal-based provider of media and cable services, showed that Videotron’s spending on rolling out and marketing the new HSPA-based mobile network negatively impacted on the group’s profits. Quebecor’s net income fell slightly to CAD34.3 million (USD35.1 million) in the first three months of 2011, compared with CAD34.9 million a year earlier, while adjusted income from continuing operations worked out at CAD0.56 per share, down by CAD0.11 a share year-on-year, despite revenues rising by almost 5% to CAD990.5 million in January-March. Group CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau revealed that Videotron spent CAD178.6 million on telecoms equipment in 1Q11, up by 41% y-o-y although slightly down on the previous quarter, and that revenues from the new own-network cellular service is not yet sufficient to cover higher expenses, including amortisation charges on the 3G network.

Canada, Videotron