Canadian full-service telco Bell Aliant has reported that its operating revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012 were CAD695 million (USD696 million), down by CAD6 million or 0.8% from the same quarter in 2011. Growth in internet, TV and wireless revenues largely offset declines in local, long-distance and other revenues. Operating expenses in Q4 2012 were up CAD2 million year-on-year, mainly driven by growth in sales support and TV content costs from a growing direct fibre (‘FibreOP’) customer base, which were largely offset by productivity savings, and a one-time curtailment gain on post-employment benefits in the fourth quarter of 2011 that did not recur in 4Q12. As a result, quarterly EBITDA declined by CAD7 million (2.4%) to CAD317 million. CAPEX in October-December 2012 was 2.0% lower year-on-year at CAD134 million, with the costs of higher FibreOP customer connections offset by lower fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) footprint expansion and lower legacy capital spending. In Q4 2012 FibreOP internet and TV customer net additions increased by 7,100 and 6,200 respectively, up more than 50% compared to the same quarter in 2011. Bell Aliant passed an additional 35,000 homes and businesses with FTTH in the three-month period, compared to 60,000 incremental premises in the year-ago period. Total FTTH coverage reached over 656,000 premises at the end of December 2012, with over 110,000 FTTH active subscribers. The operator expects to reach approximately 800,000 premises with FTTH by the end of 2013.
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