Telus Adds 48,000 Wireless Postpaid Users in Q1 But Growth Lags Rivals

Telus reported their 2018 Q1 earnings yesterday, which showed an increase in revenue and postpaid wireless subscribers, but growth of the latter lagged behind Rogers and Bell.

The company saw operating revenue increase 6% year over year to $3.4 billion, while net income was $412 million, a decrease compared to the year ago quarter by $10 million, which Telus said was due to restructuring, higher provincial corporate taxes and financing costs related to fibre networks and wireless, specifically 5G.

For its wireless numbers, revenue increased 4% to $1.5 billion, which was attributed to postpaid wireless subscribers and those acquired from MTS, along with customers adding larger data plans and also paying for more data top ups.

Postpaid net wireless additions were at 48,000, growth of 9.1% compared to the year ago quarter, but significantly less than rivals Rogers, Bell and Shaw’s regional carrier Freedom Mobile. Rogers saw 95,000 net wireless postpaid subscribers for the same period (up 58% YoY), while Bell had 68,000 (up 91% YoY). Freedom Mobile saw 93,500 postpaid additions but also included December numbers, unlike the Jan-March period for the ‘Big 3’.

Average monthly revenue per user jumped slightly by 1.5% to $66.51, while the company’s churn—the rate at which customers left the company—remained under 1% at 0.95%, despite increasing from 0.93% compared to a year ago, attributed to last year’s holiday promo blitz. Rogers had a churn rate of 1.08% and Bell at 1.13% for the same period.

Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, said in a statement “Our continued strong performance is owing in no small part to the TELUS team’s unparalleled dedication to providing consistently exceptional customer experiences. We once again achieved industry-leading wireless churn, and we are now in our fifth year of earning a churn rate below one per cent.”