Bell Canada's net earnings rise 31%

BCE (NYSE: BCE), the parent company of Bell Canada, reported last week its second-quarter 2012 earnings rose 31 percent.

For the quarter, the telco reported earnings of CAD 773 million (USD 778 million) or 1 cent per share.

In the Bell Wireline division, revenues declined 3.9 percent, to CAD 2.5 million (USD 2.52 million), amid a 0.5 percent decline in local voice services and access, long distance and equipment and other revenues.

BCE did see gains in both TV and fiber-based broadband revenues. Its TV revenue growth was driven by the ongoing penetration of its Fibe TV services, which was a result of what it says is "increasing Fibe TV penetration, higher IP broadband connectivity revenues, and increased data product sales to business customers moderated" the decline in voice service revenue.

During the quarter, Bell added 38,477 net new Bell Fibe TV subscribers, up from 14,367 in Q2 2011, representing a 168 percent increase in total TV net activations since Q2 2011. As of the end of the second quarter, Bell's IPTV footprint passed over 2.4 million households, up from only about 1.2 million during the same period a year ago.

"Bell is bringing broadband innovation, expanded choice and enhanced competition to Canadian communications, and these strong results--including exceptional wireless performance, continued fast growth in Bell Fibe TV and industry-leading performance at Bell Media--show clearly a strategy with momentum," George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, said in the earnings release.

Expanding its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and IPTV service reach continues to be a major priority for Bell Canada.

The service provider spent CAD 776 million (USD 781.5 million) in capital in the second quarter. Part of this spending was to support the ongoing expansion of its broadband network and enhance its IP backbone network infrastructure, including increased data hosting capabilities. During the quarter, it rolled out Fibe TV and its fiber-based Fibe broadband Internet service to residential homes and businesses in Québec and Ontario.

Shares of BCE were trading at $45.22, down $0.26, or 0.57 percent, in late Monday morning trading on the Nasdaq.

For more:
- see the
release (.pdf)
- Reuters has this article

Special Report: Wireline in the second quarter of 2012

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