Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Telus Q3 Profits Up with Help from Smartphone Users Driving Up Data Revenue

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Telus Q3 Profits Up with Help from Smartphone Users Driving Up Data Revenue

Article excerpt

Telus smartphone users drive up data revenue

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Telus Corp.'s profit surged in the third quarter as its smartphone customers used more wireless data services, continuing a trend that has been fuelling revenue growth for the telecom company.

Telus (TSX:T) said wireless data revenue accounted about $546 million in revenue during the quarter, up $102 million or 23 per cent from a year earlier.

"That growth and appetite for data, whether it's email or surfing the web or social media, is really driving that in a big way," chief commercial officer Joe Natale said in an interview.

Natale said 63 per cent of Telus's postpaid base of wireless subscribers is using smartphones.

"There's no reason why that wouldn't go to 100 per cent over time. As customers come on smartphones they truly become the remote control for your life," Natale said.

He noted more tablets like the iPad are being connected to networks -- part of a growing range of devices with connectivity, including cameras and hydro meters.

"I think the appetite for mobile data has only just begun. We are becoming a society that is always online, always connected."

The company also announced Friday that its dividend will rise by three cents to 64 cents per share.

Chief executive Darren Entwistle said Telus's higher dividend represents a 10.3 per cent increase from a year ago, and is due to increased net income and free cash flow generation.

"We look forward to continuing to deliver strong operational and financial result to support the realization of our dividend growth ambitions through 2013 and, importantly, beyond," he said on a conference call with analysts.

The increased dividend is payable on Jan. 2 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 11.

In its financial results, Telus earned 1.07 per diluted share on its net profit of $351 million. That's up from $325 million or $1 per diluted share in the same 2011 quarter.

Overall revenue rose 5.8 per cent to $2.77 billion from just over $2.6 billion in the third quarter of 2011.

Analysts estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters called for revenue of $2.74 billion.

Blended average revenue per user in the wireless division increased by 90 cents, or 1. …

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