Bell Canada Q1 wireline results boosted by broadband, TV

Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) may have suffered the local and long-distance voice losses that every traditional operator faced in Q1 2010, but strong gains in its retail chain The Source and TV growth drove up the service provider's wireline results 2.5 percent to $2.58 billion.

Scotia Capital analyst Jeff Fan said in a Bloomberg article that "the addition of The Source as a new distribution channel and significant Winter Olympics advertising" was a likely contributor to the gains Bell Canada saw in Q1 2010.

Also on the rise for Bell Canada was wireline operating income. During the quarter, operating income increased 48 percent to $501 million and wireline EBITDA was up 5 percent to $1.01 million, a factor it attributes to higher revenues, lower restructuring and other costs, lower pension expense and lower depreciation and amortisation of intangible assets.

Driven by higher-priced programming packages, Bell's TV revenues were $428 million, or 10.6 percent higher than in Q1 09. In total, Bell Canada added 19,889 new TV subscribers, up from 11,743 in Q1 09. As of the end of Q1, Bell Canada had a total of 1,968,766 TV subscribers.

Broadband also increased in Q1. The service provider reported that 10,000 new wireline broadband subscribers signed up for its service as of the end of March, bringing its total broadband base to 2.067 million. However, Bell Canada only added 7,000 more subscribers than it added in Q1 09 because of a decline in Q4 09.

For more:
- see the earnings release here
- Bloomberg has this article

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