01/10/2018 17:50 EST | Updated 01/10/2018 18:00 EST

Cogeco earnings, revenues up slightly in first quarter

MONTREAL — Cogeco Communications (TSX:CCA) reported slightly increased earnings and revenues in its first quarter, largely due to the growth of internet services in the country.

The Montreal-based company said after markets closed Wednesday that earnings in the first quarter were $76.5 million, or $1.55 per share, up from $75 million, or $1.53 per share, in the same period last year.

Revenues increased by $4.5 million, or 0.8 per cent, to $553.6 million, primarily driven by growth of 3.2 per cent in the Canadian broadband segment.

That growth was partially offset by revenue declines of 1.4 per cent in the broadband sector in the United States and by 4.5 per cent in the information technology and telecommunications sector.

The decrease in U.S. internet service revenues in the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2017 was primarily due to the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar.

The parent company, Cogeco (TSX: CGO), said it increased revenues by $3 million, or 0.5 per cent, to $586.1 million.

Earnings remained essentially unchanged at $81.8 million compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

"Our first quarter results are broadly in line with our full-year projections," said president and CEO Louis Audet, adding that its Canadian broadband subsidiary had achieved "better than expected" results.

Also on Wednesday, the Cogeco Communications board of directors declared a 10.5 per cent increase in the quarterly dividend to 47 and a half cents per share.