Bell Aliant posts 1Q results

2 May 2007

Canadian telco Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund (Bell Aliant) has posted a net income of CAD94.7 million (USD85.4 million) for the first quarter of 2007, on revenues that rose by 3.6% (pro forma) year-on-year to CAD851.4 million. EBITDA for the three months was CAD349.5 million, down from a pro forma Q1 2006 figure of CAD352.9 million. The number of local telephony customers reached 3.287 million at the end of March, a decrease from the pro forma total of 3.364 million a year ago, but high speed internet subscribers saw a pro forma year-on-year increase from 510,000 to 620,500, after 32,279 subscribers were added in the first quarter. Wireless users subscribing to Telebec and NorthernTel, both regional telcos under the control of Bell Aliant, numbered 86,147 at the end of the period under review, up from 69,780 a year ago.

Bell Aliant commenced operations on 7 July 2006 following the restructuring of parent company BCE’s telecoms assets. The new company combined Aliant’s existing wireline operations in Atlantic Canada with Bell Canada’s former wireline operations in selected territories in Ontario and Quebec, and indirect ownership in Telebec and NorthernTel. Bell Canada’s mobile unit Bell Mobility took control of Bell Aliant’s main wireless subscriber base, though the Aliant brand name was preserved. In order to provide meaningful year-on-year comparisons, Bell Aliant has provided pro forma results with all periods restated as if the restructuring had been completed on 1 January 2006.

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