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26/10/2010

Rogers Communications has reported a 3% increase in third-quarter revenue, but saw its quarterly earnings slip by 24% as new competition began to eat into the profit margins of its flagship wireless business.

Rogers, which operates Canada’s leading cable and cellular networks, generated a net income of $370 million ($0.64/share) during the summer quarter, down from $485 million ($0.79/share) in the same period a year earlier.

Chief Executive, Nadir Mohamed, acknowledged that Rogers Wireless, which produces more than half of the corporation’s revenue, saw a drop in net subscriber additions compared to last year, but said that new competition from Wind Mobile, Public Mobile, and Mobilicity had had “for the most part, fairly limited impact.”

“The third quarter 2010 results demonstrate continued steady growth in new subscribers, revenues and free cash flow, and the return of significant amounts of cash to our shareholders through dividends and share buybacks,” Mohamed commented in a conference call with investors.

Nevertheless, even if Rogers Wireless can hold its own in terms of subscribers, the new carriers will inevitably bring down the cost of wireless services industry wide, putting pressure on the profit margins of established carriers. This is already evident in the case of Chatr, Rogers’ new discount cell phone brand, which has been seen more as a response to the new carriers than an attempt to return cash to shareholders.



 

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