Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) has announced its first positive quarterly revenue and EBITDA growth figures since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, with total Q1 2021 sales increasing by 1.2% year-on-year to CAD5.706 billion (USD4.640 billion) and adjusted EBITDA up 0.5% to CAD2.429 billion. Quarterly net profit was down 6.3% y-o-y at CAD687 million.
1Q21 saw Bell add 108,468 net new mobile, retail internet and IPTV customers – a 51% increase over 1Q20 net adds in these three segments – including 32,925 post-paid mobile phone net additions.
Bell invested CAD1.012 billion in CAPEX in January-March 2021, up 30% y-o-y, as its 5G mobile network coverage grew to above 30% of the national population, while fibre/Wireless Home Internet (WHI) networks were extended to 148,000 additional homes and businesses during the quarter. Bell also announced new partnerships with the federal and provincial governments to bring broadband access to hard-to-serve areas, including Quebec’s Operation High Speed project, the federal Universal Broadband Fund and multiple initiatives in Atlantic Canada. The operator says it is on track to reach approximately 6.9 million total fibre and WHI premises passed by end-2021.