Following Rogers, Bell has released its second-quarter earnings. The carrier reported $759 million in profits, a significant 25.2% spike compared to the same period a year ago. Total revenue reported by BCE, Bell’s parent company, was up 2% to $5.2 billion, reflecting a 2% increase in service revenue and 2.3% higher product revenue led by strong wireless and wireless revenue growth.
“With strong increases in subscribers, revenue and operating profitability, Bell enters the second half of 2015 with clear momentum in the growth services of Canadian communications: Wireless, TV, Internet and Media. The Bell team’s success in executing our strategy of network investment, service innovation and content leadership is delivering the consistent financial and operating performance necessary to support our dividend growth model going forward,” said George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell.
As for the wireless segment of BCE’s business, operating revenue was up 10% to $1.69 billion from $1.54 billion reported for the second quarter last year, due to a higher postpaid subscriber mix. Data revenue is also up a significant 24.2%.
During the past quarter, net postpaid additions totaled 61,033, down from 67,951 last year, bringing the total postpaid subscriber base to 7,206,453 at the end of the second calendar quarter, up 4.4% over the same period in 2014. As a result, the total Bell subscriber base – including both postpaid and prepaid customers – grew 2.2% to 8,124,824.
Postpaid customers with smartphones now account for 77% of the user base, up 2% compared to Q2 2014. The proportion of postpaid subscribers on the LTE network reached 57% at the end of the second quarter, the press release notes.
As for the average revenue per user, Bell reported blended ARPU of $62.48, up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis.
In the press release issued today, Bell reiterated its plan to expand its LTE network to cover 98% of Canadians by the end of 2015 and highlighted that it offers an LTE-A network in Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Penticton, Summerland, Vancouver, and Victoria. LTE-A offers enhanced download speeds of up to 220 Mbps (expected average 12 Mbps to 60 Mbps).