Shaw Communications Inc., the country’s largest cable television and cable telephone provider, has announced its financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal year ending February 28, 2011.
The company reported revenue for the three month period was $1.2 billion, up 29% over the same period last year. The big increase in revenue was due primarily to increased cash flow from the new Shaw Media division.(formerly CanWest Global Communications).
Operating income before amortization at the company was $495 million, up 16% from 425 million a year earlier. For the first six months of the year, revenues and operating income were up 24% and 8% to $2.28 billion and $968 million respectively.
In a written statement, Shaw CEO Brad Shaw pointed to the company’s decision to streamline its organizational structure as a major reason for the improvement in net income. "Our industry is transforming and competition in our core business continues. We have taken decisive and immediate steps to streamline our organizational structure. In this changing landscape managing costs and operating efficiently are essential." said Shaw.
The cutbacks include Shaw's recent decision to fire 550 employees which longer term is expected to produce annual savings in excess of $50 million.
In the Cable division, revenues were up 7% for the December to February time period to $769 million while service revenue in the satellite division was up 2 % over the comparable period last year to $204 million.
The growth in revenues was primarily due to price increases and growth in the number of Shaw subscribers who are signing up for digital cable, digital phone, and high speed internet. On a down note, the number of Shaw analog cable customers fell 13,662 during the quarter.
The following are Shaw subscriber counts as of February 28, 2011. The numbers in parenthesis are subscribers at the end of last fiscal year August 31, 2010)
- Basic cable customers - 2,313,104 (2,334,308)
- Digital customers - 1,748,538 (1,650,919)
- Internet customers - 1,848,390 (1,818,866)
- Digital phone lines - 1,178,660 (1,096,306)
- DTH satellite customers - 906,433 (905,796)