07/23/2015 06:57 EDT | Updated 07/23/2016 05:59 EDT

Rogers' Profit Down, Revenue Up On Fewer New Wireless Subscribers


TORONTO - Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) profits slid 10 per cent in the second quarter though the company reaped the benefits of driving revenue growth in its wireless business.

The telecommunications and media company said it earned $363 million of net income, equal to 70 cents per share, down from $405 million or 76 cents in the same quarter last year.

Operating revenue totalled $3.40 billion, up from $3.21 billion in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Rogers said it earned $412 million of 80 cents per share in the quarter, down from $432 million or 84 cents per share a year ago.

During the quarter, Rogers said it saw a modest increase in turnover of wireless customers and fewer net new postpaid subscribers. The company said that was due in part to the greater-than-usual number of subscriber contracts that ended as both three-year and two-year contracts expired near the same time due to changes by the CRTC.

About 12 per cent of customers were still on three-year wireless contracts as of June 3, the company said.

Rogers added 24,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers in the quarter compared with 38,000 a year ago, while monthly churn increased to 1.19 per cent compared with 1.13 per cent in the same quarter last year.

Average revenue per postpaid wireless user was $67.24, up from $66.40 a year ago.

Rogers' total cable TV subscriber count slid, however, as its competition remained intense and more Canadians cancelled their packages. Overall, the division saw a net decline of 32,000 cable TV subscribers and a drop of 11,000 landline customers.

Subscribers to its Internet services grew by 4,000 accounts.

On Wednesday, the CRTC announced changes that will force the big telecom firms to open their fibre optic networks to smaller competitors, giving independent Internet service providers access to faster networks.

Chief executive Guy Laurence told analysts on the company's financial results conference call that he would tap into Rogers' "natural advantage of being a cable company" to remain competitive.

"This is about steady methodical improvements over quarters and given that we are coming from somewhere behind it is going to take time to get traction on that," he said.

"Those were enhanced by yesterday's decision by the CRTC in that they have created a more level playing field between cableco and telco and I am encouraged by that."