Rogers revenues up 2%, says it could look at selected Astral acquisitions

25 Oct 2012

Canadian quadruple-play operator Rogers Communications has reported that consolidated revenues climbed 2% year-on-year to CAD3.18 billion (USD3.21 billion) in the three months ended 30 September 2012, while operating income (EBIT) increased by 5% to CAD1.29 billion and net profit rose 1% to CAD495 million. Respective year-on-year turnover increases of 2%, 16% and 1% in mobile services, mobile equipment sales and cable network operations offset revenue declines at Rogers’ business services and media divisions.

Rogers activated 707,000 smartphones in the third quarter of 2012, up from 609,000 in 3Q11, increasing the percentage of subscribers with smartphones to 65% of its total post-paid base. For the three months and nine months ended September 2012, wireless data revenue increased by 18% and 16%, respectively, from the corresponding period of 2011 to CAD719 million and CAD1.995 billion, reflecting the continued penetration and growing usage of smartphones, tablet devices and wireless laptops, as well as increased data roaming. For the three- and nine-month periods wireless data revenue represented 41% and 40%, respectively, of total network revenue, compared to 36% and 35% in the corresponding periods of 2011. The wireless data component of blended ARPU in 3Q12 increased by 15.4%, which was partially offset by an 8.3% decline in the wireless voice component as a result of the heightened level of competitive intensity in Canada’s mobile voice market. Meanwhile, Rogers expanded its 4G LTE mobile broadband network to 24 cities including Victoria, Edmonton, Regina and Quebec City, reaching 54% of the Canadian population.

Rogers added 29,000 net additional cable broadband subscribers in Q3 to reach a total of 1.84 million, while it lost a net 10,000 cable TV customers in the quarter, for a total of 2.24 million.

Elsewhere, Rogers has this week indicated that it would consider bidding for selected assets of broadcasting group Astral Media if rival telecoms heavyweight BCE (Bell Canada) fails to overturn a decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) blocking a CAD3.4 billion takeover attempt. BCE is seeking help from the federal government to overrule the CRTC’s decision and allow the purchase of Astral, but initial signs are that such an outcome is unlikely.