Thanks to improved subscriber retention and higher average revenue per user, Bell Canada has reported its first-quarter profit is up 12% from a year earlier, with overall revenue improving by 2.6% to $5.73 billion from $5.59 billion (via BNN Bloomberg).
With the wireless division leading the growth, Bell says it added 38,282 net new postpaid and prepaid wireless customers for the three months ended March 31, down from 44,377 in Q1 last year. Postpaid net additions were at 50,204, down from 68,487 from the year-ago quarter.
Total operating revenue for wireless increased 4.5% to $2.1 billion, with service revenue up 3.4% to $1.5 billion.
While acknowledging that the first quarter is usually a seasonally slow sales period for wireless, CEO George Cope said that Bell was helped by a government contract that began to roll out last year. “Let’s see how the entire year unfolds going forward,” Cope said, ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Toronto, set for today:
BCE’s net profit amounted $740 million attributable to common shareholders or 82 cents per share. That was up from $661 million or 73 cents per share in the first quarter of 2018.
Its Bell wireline business, which includes residential internet and TV service, increased its revenue by 1.8 per cent to $3.06 billion.
Meanwhile its Bell Media business, which includes CTV, radio stations and specialty TV channels, saw operating revenue slipped 0.5 per cent to $745 million.
Bell’s adjusted earnings per share were 77 cents, down from 80 cents per share a year earlier.