Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), Canada's largest communications company, today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2011.
BCE, which includes Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Bell Media, Virgin Mobile, and the Source, reported a 8.7% increase in operating revenues to $4.9 billion and a 41.4% increase in net earnings to $642 million, when compared to the same quarter in 2010.
Digital Home readers will be most interested in the results of Bell Canada whose services include local, long distance and wireless phone services, high-speed and wireless Internet access, and direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television services and Bell Aliant which provides many of the same services in Eastern Canada.
Operating revenue at Bell Canada for the three months ending September 30, 2011 rose 10.1% from the same period a year earlier to $4.3 billion. The spike in revenues was due primarily to the acquisition of CTV which is now part of the new Bell Media unit. Bell Media had revenues of $435 million during this quarter, about 10% of Bell's overall total.
For the quarter Bell lost 110,629 Wireline customers, gained 85,749 wireless customers, lost 101 High speed Internet customers and gained 26,037 television subsribers. The new television subscribers were primarily to Bell's IPTV television service (branded Fibe TV) which is now available to approximately 1.5 million households in Toronto and Montréal, up from approximately 1.1 million households at the end of Q2 2011.
The following are Bell Canada’s landline, wireless, internet and video subscriber counts as of September 30, 2011. (Numbers in parentheses reflect customer counts for the same period in 2010)
- High Speed Internet - 2,111,661 (2,085,227)
- Landline Telephone Residential - 3,365,854 (3,645,437)
- Landline Telephone Business - 2,839,482 (2,894,440)
- Landline Telephone Total - 6,205,336 (6,539,877)
- Wireless Postpaid - 5,843,180 (5,384,661)
- Wireless Prepaid - 1,526,416 (1,740,605)
- Wireless Total - 7,369,596 (7,125,266)
- Video includes DTH and IPTV - 2,059,870 (1,997,079)
Operating revenue at Bell Aliant for the third quarter of 2011 fell 0.5% to $700 million from the same period a year earlier, due to lower local, long distance, data and information technology service revenues. Bell Aliant’s operating income was $153.7 million, down from $175.5 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The one bright spot for the company was its FibreOP, the company's Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) initiative which is boosting Internet and TV revenue growth, largely offsetting declines in legacy services.
Bell Aliant now expects to pass approximately 450,000 homes and businesses with FTTH by the end of 2011, up from the previous estimate of 430,000.
"We continued to steadily expand our FTTH footprint this quarter, adding on average over 1,000 homes per day to our coverage area to total 104,000 new homes passed," said Karen Sheriff, president and chief executive officer, Bell Aliant. "Demand for the service is very strong, with take-rates on both FibreOP Internet and TV higher than we earlier anticipated. We are going to take advantage of this positive momentum to further accelerate our FTTH rollout for 2011 to meet the strong customer demand. All of this bodes well for our future outlook."
The following are Bell Aliant’s landline, wireless, internet and IPTV subscriber counts as of September 30, 2011. (Numbers in parentheses reflect customer counts for the same period in 2010)
- High Speed Internet - 859,930 (839,393)
- Landline Telephone Residential - 1,714,240 (1,837,585)
- Landline Telephone Business - 958,342 (991,081)
- Landline Telephone Total - 2,672,582 (2,828,666)
- Wireless Total - 142,945 (128,781)
- IPTV - 68,199 43,000