Rogers re­ports profit surge of 35 per cent

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - DAVID PADDON

Rogers Com­mu­ni­ca­tions re­ported a 35 per cent in­crease in sec­ond-quar­ter net in­come on Thurs­day, beat­ing an­a­lyst es­ti­mates with an es­pe­cially strong per­for­mance from its key wire­less di­vi­sion.

It’s the first fi­nan­cial re­port is­sued by the Toronto-based telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and me­dia com­pany on Joe Natale’s watch since he be­came its CEO in April.

Natale is a for­mer CEO of Telus, where he had a rep­u­ta­tion of build­ing cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion and re­duc­ing wire­less sub­scriber turnover — fac­tors that some an­a­lysts have said would be crit­i­cal to his suc­cess.

He said his new team at Rogers has de­liv­ered strong re­sults in its wire­less di­vi­sion, but added there’s al­ways room for im­prove­ment.

“The fo­cus on cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and loy­alty is one that re­quires the whole or­ga­ni­za­tion to play,” Natale said in a con­fer­ence call.

“That takes time. That’s not some­thing that’s go­ing to hap­pen overnight but it’s fun­da­men­tally im­por­tant.”

For the wire­less di­vi­sion, churn for con­tract sub­scribers im­proved to 1.05 per cent from 1.14 per cent a year ear­lier while av­er­age monthly post-paid rev­enue in­creased to $124.31 — up from $116.06.

Rogers also re­ported 93,000 net ad­di­tions to con­tract wire­less sub­scribers, above some an­a­lyst es­ti­mates.

Dur­ing the call, one an­a­lyst asked whether Natale ex­pected to di­vest any of the com­pany’s non-core busi­nesses.

“Right now, we’re happy with the mix of as­sets we have across the busi­ness,” Natale replied.

Over­all net in­come was $531 mil­lion or $1.03 per share, while ad­justed profit was $1 per share.

That’s up from $394 mil­lion or 77 cents per share of net in­come and 83 cents per share of ad­justed in­come in last year’s sec­ond quar­ter.

Rev­enue was $3.59 bil­lion — up four per cent from last year’s sec­ond quar­ter and within an­a­lyst es­ti­mates.

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