Shaw nar­rows sub­scriber losses, boosts rev­enue

Free­dom Mo­bile di­vi­sion lifts bot­tom line, but CEO of wire­less brand to step down

Toronto Star - - BUSINESS - ALEK­SAN­DRA SA­GAN THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Shaw Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. added more wire­less sub­scribers and lost fewer TV, In­ter­net and land­line cus­tomers than ex­pected in its most re­cent quar­ter.

The com­pany said Wed­nes­day it recorded its best con­sumer sub­scriber trends in the quar­ter ended Feb. 28, since the sec­ond quar­ter of its 2012 fi­nan­cial year.

Shaw lost 5,294 con­sumer sub­scribers be­tween its cable and satel­lite TV, In­ter­net and phone ser­vices, com­pared with a loss of nearly 42,000 in the same quar­ter last year.

The com­pany at­trib­uted the results, in part, to an at­trac­tively priced, high-speed In­ter­net pack­age that can be paired with its BlueSky TV In­ter­net-pro­to­col tele­vi­sion prod­uct, which was launched ear­lier this year. Drew McReynolds, an RBC Do­min­ion Se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst, wrote in a note that he had es­ti­mated the com­pany would lose 30,000 sub­scribers this quar­ter. The smaller num­ber came from higher-than-ex­pected In­ter­net sub­scriber growth as the com­pany added13,466 cus­tomers and lower-thanex­pected cable TV losses, he wrote.

Shaw shed about 7,000 cable TV sub­scribers, while McReynolds had an­tic­i­pated a de­crease of 26,000. The com­pany also added about 33,000 wire­less cus­tomers com­pared with McReynolds’s es­ti­mate of 20,000.

The Cal­gary-based com­pany said it earned $147 mil­lion in its lat­est quar­ter as rev­enue grew 13 per cent com­pared with a year ago, boosted by its Free­dom Mo­bile wire­less busi­ness.

The profit amounted to 30 cents per share for the quar­ter ended Feb. 28, com­pared with a profit of $164 mil­lion or 32 cents per share in the same quar­ter last year.

Shaw, which sold its Shaw Me­dia sub­sidiary in April 2016, said its profit from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions to­talled $147 mil­lion in what was its sec­ond quar­ter, up from $116 mil­lion a year ago.

Rev­enue in­creased to $1.30 bil­lion, com­pared with $1.15 bil­lion in the same quar­ter last year.

The com­pany also an­nounced Alek Krsta­jic will be step­ping down as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Free­dom Mo­bile. Krsta­jic had been chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wind Mo­bile, the com­pany that Shaw ac­quired and re­branded as Free­dom Mo­bile.

Shaw said Paul McAleese will join the com­pany as chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Free­dom Mo­bile.

Shaw re­ported profit from its con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions in­creased to $147 mil­lion in its sec­ond quar­ter, up from $116 mil­lion a year ago

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