Earlier this month, Rogers and Bell Mobility – two of Canada’s ‘Big Three’ wireless giants, reported contrasting quarterly results. While Rogers reported weaker profits due to poor showing in wireless and cable, Bell topped earning estimates thanks largely to an impressive performance in the wireless segment.
Therefore, the industry’s been eagerly waiting to know Telus’ fate in its most recent quarter. Expectations were high as the carrier predicted a ‘Big 2012‘ and followed up words with action with a massive $3 billion investment in B.C. projects. The company also expanded its LTE footprint, unveiled a trade-in program and launched a Virtual Private Cloud solution.
As I reported earlier, Telus already has an upper hand over arch-rival Shaw in the war for Western Canada. Based on all those feel good factors, it was expected that Telus would report a strong quarter and the company hasn’t disappointed. Telus yesterday reported a 6% jump in first-quarter profit largely due to continued leading wireless performance.
Telus reported net income of C$348 million or C$1.06 per basic share for the first quarter, up from C$328 million or C$1.00 per share in the prior-year quarter. Operating revenues for the quarter grew 4.0 percent to C$2.63 billion from C$2.53 billion in the same quarter last year.
Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO said, “TELUS continues to build upon our company’s operational momentum as we delivered the most TV, high speed Internet and wireless client net additions, the highest wireless ARPU and the lowest wireless churn amongst our Canadian telco and cableco peer group. This led to strong results, with wireline data revenue growth of 13 per cent and wireless data revenue growth of 36 per cent. Consolidated financial results were driven by outstanding wireless revenue and margin enhancement. This performance is the direct result of TELUS’ investment in our network technology and the commitment to the customer experience displayed by our dedicated team members.”
The company’s performance in the wireless segment was impressive – 63,000 postpaid wireless customer additions thereby leading to a wireless data revenue growth of 36 percent. ARPU increased by 1.7 per cent – a phenomenal achievement considering that it’s a sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. Wireless revenues increased by 5.7 percent to $1.38 billion in the quarter, driven by a larger subscriber base and higher ARPU on increased use of wireless data services.
Telus didn’t too badly in the wireline segment either, adding 44,000 TV customers.
The company announced that it will withdraw its proposal to convert its non-voting shares to common shares, following a run-in with dissident shareholder Mason Capital. Though it’s currently in the midst of investor turmoil, Telus reaffirmed its earnings and revenue guidance for the full-year 2012.