Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has reported net income attributable to shareholders of CAD569 million (USD569 million) in the third quarter of 2012, down by 11% from CAD642 million a year earlier, with the decrease in profitability attributed to lower tax expenses in the year-earlier period. Revenues rose by 1.5% to CAD4.98 billion, helped by wireless and media revenues climbing by 7% and 25% respectively. Bell’s mobile division added a net 148,500 post-paid subscribers in the three months ended 30 September 2012, 17% more than in the same quarter of 2011, and double the number of net quarterly post-paid additions reported by rival Rogers Communications. Bell’s wireless ARPU jumped to CAD57.30 in 3Q12 from CAD55.01 twelve months earlier, while its proportion of post-paid users with smartphones climbed to 60% at the end of September, up from 43% year-on-year.
BCE’s CEO George Cope told analysts in an earnings call that it was premature to write off the group’s attempted CAD3.4 billion takeover of broadcasting group Astral Media, despite it being disallowed by the telecoms regulator last month, as he said the company is waiting for a response on the matter from the federal government.