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Rogers results top estimates on wireless, media business strength

Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc on Thursday beat estimates for quarterly revenue, profit and phone subscriber growth, benefiting from higher roaming charges and promotional offers during the holiday quarter.

Rogers’ push to expand its 5G network and bundle subscriber plans has helped it win customers from rivals in a competitive market where wireless charges are among the highest in the world.

The telecom operator added 193,000 monthly bill paying wireless phone subscribers to top FactSet fourth-quarter estimate of 146,800, sending its shares up 1% at C$65.34 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Smaller operator BCE Inc, which reported results earlier in the day, added 154,617 monthly mobile bill paying customers.

Rogers forecast growth in total service revenue, which excludes equipment sales, between 4% and 7% for fiscal 2023, compared with 6% growth last year.

Higher immigration of workers and students and scope for telecom penetration in Canada will continue to support Rogers’ wireless business this year, Chief Executive Officer Tony Staffieri said on an analyst conference call.

Rogers said it would provide a fresh forecast after its deal with Shaw Communications Inc closes, stopping short of providing a timeline. Earlier this week, it extended the deadline for the deal closure to Feb. 17 from January-end.

Fourth-quarter results were also aided by Rogers’ media business, which benefited from a jump in advertising and sports-related income during the holiday quarter, with revenue increasing 17% to C$606 million ($456 million).

Revenue at its core wireless business grew 7% to C$2.58 billion, in line with estimates.

Net income increased 25% to C$508 million in the reported quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company earned C$1.09 per share, beating estimate of C$1.01 per share, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue rose 6% to C$4.17 billion, compared with estimates of C$4.15 billion. Reuters

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