Rogers wireless, media businesses strength beat revenue expectations

Feb 2 (Reuters) – Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO) beat expectations on Thursday for quarterly revenue and phone subscriber growth, benefiting from higher roaming charges and promotional offers during the holiday season.

Rogers’ efforts to expand its 5G network and bundle subscriber plans have helped it win customers from rivals in a crowded market where wireless charges are some of the highest in the world.

The telecom carrier added 193,000 monthly paying wireless phone customers in the fourth quarter, easily beating the FactSet estimate of 146,800. It added 164,000 subscribers in the last quarter.

Rogers’ media business, which includes television and radio properties, benefited from a surge in advertising during the holiday season, with revenue rising 17 percent to C$606 million ($456 million).

Revenue in its core wireless business rose 7% to C$2.58 billion, in line with expectations, as promotions for the latest handsets like Apple’s iPhone 14 and Samsung’s Galaxy Z drew more subscribers.

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Total revenue rose 6% to C$4.17 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 17. On the 31st, according to Refinitiv data, it slightly exceeded analysts’ average estimate of 4.15 billion Canadian dollars.

Rogers is in the final stages of closing a deal to buy smaller rival Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO), which would allow it to bundle its wireless technology with Shaw’s wireline service and reduce churn.

Earlier this week, the companies extended until Feb. 8 the deadline to merge and sell Shaw subsidiary Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc (QBRb.TO). 17 Beginning at the end of January.

The deal would create a Canadian first. 2 Telecom operator, requires Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne’s approval to transfer spectrum license from Freedom Mobile to Quebecor’s Videotron.

(1 CAD = 0.7530 USD)

Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru Edited by Vinay Dwivedi

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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