Rogers 2013 Q3: Wireless Revenues Decline Due to Roaming Fee Price Drops


Rogers announced its 2013 Q3 results today: While revenue grew 2% to $3.224 billion, up from $3.176 billion a year ago, Canada’s No. 1 wireless player added fewer wireless subscribers.

The company’s adjusted earnings grew 1% to $501 million, up from the $495 million reported a year prior. Wireless data revenue increased by 15% compared to last year and now accounts for 48% of Rogers’ wireless network revenue.

As the press release highlights, the carrier activated and upgraded 574,000 smartphones, down from 707,000 last year, as a result of a 24% reduction in hardware upgrades by existing customers. About 38% of those activations were new subscribers. What’s interesting is the growth of smartphone users; they now represent 73% of Rogers’ wireless postpaid subscribers.

In terms of new customers, the wireless player has missed expectations. Analysts were expecting 77,000 new customers, but Rogers was able to add only 64,000 new postpaid wireless subscribers. The average revenue per user (ARPU), however, was beyond expectations, with postpaid ARPU standing at $68.77, but still below last year’s value of $71.50.

As the company highlighted, the slightly lower wireless revenue this quarter is due to new lower-priced roaming plans, while the high adoption and usage of wireless data services, as well as the larger postpaid subscriber base, pushed network revenue slightly higher in the year to date.

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