BUSINESS
05/26/2011 07:46 EDT | Updated 07/26/2011 05:12 EDT

Quebecor Earnings Flat In First Quarter

MONTREAL (CP) - Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) says first-quarter profits slipped to $34.3 million, as its revenues grew 4.5 per cent.

The Montreal-based media company says the results were equal to 53 cents per share, versus $34.9 million, or 54 cents per share in the same period a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, earnings were 56 cents per share, below expectations of 58 cents, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenues increased 4.5 per cent to $990.5 million from $948.1 million.

The company's operating income grew 1.3 per cent to $294.3 million.

Quebecor chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau said the company managed to post revenue and operating income growth despite major investments in new products and services this year.

The company has launched a variety of new projects this year including its hyped Sun News Network, a right-of-centre all-news and talk channel that was dubbed "Fox News North.''

Quebecor also launched its wireless business last fall, competing with Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Bell (TSX:BCE), Telus (TSX:T) and new player Public Mobile for cellphone customers in the province.

Quebecor's strategy is to sell its services in bundles and if customers take its home phone, TV and Internet services as well as its wireless service, they will get the best prices for monthly cellphone plans.

Peladeau is also pursuing a bid for an NHL team in Quebec City.