Canada's big three telcos add nearly 200,000 new wireless customers in Q2

VANCOUVER – Canada’s three telecommunications giants added nearly 200,000 new wireless customers in their most recent financial quarter, outpacing expectations.

Telus Corp. (TSX:T), which reported its second-quarter earnings Friday, said it increased its net postpaid subscriber base by 61,000 customers.

Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) added 65,000 and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) gained 69,848 new postpaid subscribers during their second quarter. Both companies reported their results prior to Telus.

Analysts expected more modest wireless subscriber growth this quarter.

Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle said he can’t explain the growth for the entire industry, but said it’s nice to see strong performance in the industry.

Telus’s gain, in particular, “is a pretty good result overall particularly in the face of softness within the province of Alberta,” he said in a conference call with investors.

He attributed some of the growth to the company’s ongoing focus on value and customer service.

The company’s net profit, adjusted earnings and revenue were up from the same time last year as it attracted more customers not only to its wireless division, but also its residential Internet and Optik TV services.

At the end of the quarter, Telus had 12.49 million subscriber connections to all services, up from 12.34 million a year earlier. Declines in home landline phone customers and satellite TV offset some of the gains elsewhere.

The Vancouver-based company’s net income was $416 million — up 22 per cent from $341 million a year ago when Telus recorded a number of unusual items that reduced its net income.

After excluding certain items such as the impact of closing the Blacks retail stores last year, adjusted earnings were up 2.2 per cent, rising to $415 million from $406 million.

This year’s second-quarter profit amounted to 70 cents per Telus share, both before and after adjustments. Last year’s profit was 56 cents per share in net income and 66 cents per share in adjusted earnings.

Revenue advanced 1.5 per cent to nearly $3.15 billion from $3.10 billion in the second quarter of 2015.

Analysts had estimated 69 cents per share of profit and $3.19 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data.