Telus talks up big 2009 goals

Amid all the talk about the collapsed deal for the takeover of Bell Canada Enterprises, Telus may be Canada's forgotten telco. This week, Telus is doing its best to remind everyone it's still around and worth watching. The Vancouver-based company is taking the opposite direction of many North American telcos at the moment, actually pledging to increase capital spending by as much as 12 percent next year, with wireless projects as a primary target.

Telus issued a statement saying it will bring spending up to about $2.05 billion, from about $1.83 billion this year, with some of the increase coming from spending money deferred from this year to next year. The company still sees relatively flat profits, but the potential for improved earnings per share.

Telus CFO Robert McFarlane said the company would look toward Eastern provinces Quebec and Ontario for growth in 2009. According to several published reports, the company also is saying this week that it would not be interested in pursuing a buyout of suddenly-available BCE-at least not right now, as some BCE watchers and investors might have suspected. Telus had been a contender for the BCE acquisition at one point in 2007 after the company was put in play, but reportedly pulled out of contention because of what it saw as an unfair bidding process.

For more:
- The Toronto Star reports

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