BCE Inc rides media, wireless units to profit growth

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 06, 2014 7:44 AM

TORONTO (Reuters) - BCE Inc, Canada's biggest telecom company, posted a 17 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by strong growth in its media wing and ongoing strength in wireless.

The Montreal-based parent of Bell Canada said fourth-quarter net earnings slipped to C$495 million, or 64 Canadian cents a share, from C$666 million, or 86 Canadian cents, a year earlier, due to a windfall on spectrum in late 2012.

On an adjusted basis the company earned 70 Canadian cents a share, up from 60 cents a year ago. Operating revenue was C$5.38 billion, compared with C$5.16 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had on average expected BCE to earn 69 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$5.41 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BCE said it expects Bell's revenue to grow between 2 and 4 percent in 2014, and for the overall company to earn between C$3.10 and C$3.20 a share. It raised its dividend by 6 percent to C$2.47 a share annually.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)