Bell Canada has posted quarterly revenues of CAD5.877 billion (USD4.473 billion) for July-September 2018, up 3.2% year-on-year, with an underlying 1.2% increase in service revenue to CAD5.117 billion, reflecting gains in all its operating segments. Product revenue grew 18.2% to CAD760 million, driven by premium smartphone sales and large B2B customers’ data equipment purchases. Adjusted EBITDA reached CAD2.457 billion in Q3 2018, up 2.2% y-o-y, whilst three-month CAPEX totalled CAD1.010 billion, compared to CAD1.040 billion in Q3 last year. Investment continued to focus on expanding fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to more homes and businesses, deployment of wireless small cells and data backhaul, alongside ongoing investment in Manitoba to improve broadband network coverage, capacity and speed at the group’s youngest subsidiary division, Bell MTS.
Total net mobile customer additions in the three months to 30 September 2018 reached 177,834, a record Q3 performance, as Bell reported its first quarterly positive pre-paid net additions since Q4 2009 (42,511) due to take-up of its recently-launched low-cost ‘flanker brand’ Lucky Mobile. Post-paid net additions increased 15.5% year-on-year to 135,323 (the group’s best Q3 result since 2012), boosting total contract mobile subscribers by 5.9% y-o-y to 8,728,436, as the total mobile user base climbed 5.3% to 9,487,368.
Bell added 53,124 net retail fixed broadband internet customers in Q3 2018 (27.4% higher than 3Q17 additions), reflecting ongoing expansion of the FTTP footprint (which passed approximately 4.4 million ‘locations’ at the end of September, up from 3.6 million a year ago) and the pull-through effect of internet customer activations from Bell’s ‘Alt TV’ service. Including wholesale net customer losses, total high speed internet net additions were 47,749, up 7.5% compared to Q3 last year, and it reported a total broadband subscriber base of 3,904,304 at end-September 2018, up 3.8% y-o-y.