In its first quarter of operations, Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund (Bell Aliant) has reported net earnings of CAD78.6 million (USD70.2 million) and declared cash distributions of CAD77.9 million or CAD0.6279 per unit-holder. Bell Aliant commenced operations on 7 July 2006; the Fund’s financial statements reflect operations from that date to 30 September 2006. Its results combine Aliant’s wireline operation in Atlantic Canada, its information technology and other former operations and Bell Canada’s former wireline operation in its regional territories in Ontario and Quebec, as well as its indirect 63.4% interest in Bell Nordiq. Comparing its figures to the previous combined operations of its constituent parts, for the quarter ended 30 September, Bell Aliant reported operating revenues of CAD817.6 million and operating income of CAD193.0 million. Local telephony revenues declined by 0.9% year-on-year to CAD367.6 million, driven by a decline in network access services of 1.2%. Increased local service competition, a reduction in second lines as dial-up internet customers convert to broadband, and migration to wireless, down by CAD6.4 million or 4.7% compared to the same period a year ago; long-distance minutes declined by 2.5%. Data and internet revenue was CAD167.2 million, an increase of 9.6%, led by high speed internet revenue growth of 18.8% and customer growth of 26.4%.
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