Canadian quadruple-play operator Rogers Communications has reported its results for the three months ended 31 March 2012, in which its wireless revenues fell 1% year-on-year to CAD1.706 billion (USD1.715 billion), while its cable division increased sales by 1% to CAD825 million. Operating profit (EBIT) at the wireless unit also fell, by 7% y-o-y to CAD737 million, as did cable EBIT, albeit by a smaller percentage, 1%, to CAD378 million. Consolidated net profit for the group dropped 9% to CAD305 million in Q1 2012 compared to a year earlier.
The stagnating revenues and decline in profitability in Rogers’ wireless business reflects heightened competition leading to a decline in voice ARPU, as well as high upfront equipment costs associated with the company’s second-highest number of quarterly smartphone activations to date, and increased wireless device subsidies, again driven by the intensifying competitive environment. Wireless data revenues grew by 16%, partially offsetting the effect of declining voice ARPU, and wireless data comprised 39% of total wireless revenue in 1Q12, up from 34% in the same quarter last year. The cellular division activated 642,000 smartphones in three months, of which around 34% were for new wireless subscribers, resulting in smartphone users representing 60% of the post-paid customer base at 31 March 2012, up from 45% a year before.
Rogers’ cable broadband internet revenues grew by 8% y-o-y to CAD241 million in Q1 2012, helping to offset a 4% decline in cable home telephony turnover to CAD116 million. In January-March 2012 Rogers signed up 13,000 net additional cable broadband customers, reaching a total of 1.806 million at the end of the period.