BRITISH COLUMBIA

Telus reports 13 per cent increase in adjusted Q3 earnings, beats estimates

11/08/2013 09:47 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST
VANCOUVER - Telus (TSX:T) beat major competitors to the punch in attracting high-profit cellphone customers in its most recent quarter and also bested them on another important metric — churn rate — the telecom said Friday as it also reported a 13 per cent jump in profit.

Telus said it added 106,000 cellphone customers — usually iPhone, BlackBerry or Android users who tend to pay bigger monthly bills due to their smartphone use — in the third quarter.

Bell (TSX:BCE) attracted 102,714 net new postpaid customers and Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) 64,000 in the same period.

Another important measure for the health of a wireless company is its churn rate, which refers to customers leaving for competitors.

Telus reported a churn rate of 0.99 per cent for its postpaid subscribers, most of them smartphone users, better than either Bell, which posted 1.2 per cent churn rate, or Rogers, which posted a 1.23 per cent rate.

CEO Darren Entwistle told analysts the sub one per cent churn rate was the company's lowest since the first quarter of 2007.

Telus Corp.'s adjusted profit jumped to $365 million in the third quarter, up 13 per cent and better than analyst estimates.

The Vancouver-based telecom's adjusted profit amounted to 58 cents per share — two cents better than estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Telus also said it was raising its quarterly dividend by two cents to 36 cents, a 12.5 per cent increase year-over-year.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares were up 78 cents, of 2.15 per cent, at $37.06 in afternoon trading Friday.

Telus (TSX:T) said its revenue in the three-month period was up 3.6 per cent from last year, rising by $100 million to $1.87 billion.

Net income under standard accounting was $356 million or 56 cents per share, up from $323 million or 49 cents per share.

The company's wireless sector saw revenue increase by $71 million, or 5.2 per cent, compared with a year earlier to $1.44 billion.

The wireline division, which includes Internet and TV services, showed somewhat less growth, with revenue up by $38 million or three per cent year-over-year to $1.3 billion.

Telus reported 34,000 net new TV subscribers, down 8,000 year-over-year. Telus has almost 800,000 TV customers.

It added 19,000 new high-speed Internet customers, down 7,000 compared with the same quarter last year. Telus has almost 1.4 million high-speed Internet subscribers.