BCE, Bell Media Q3 Revenues Rise As Company Appeals CRTC's Astral Deal Rejection
November 2, 2012 at 4:43 AM (PT)
Coming off the rejection of its proposed takeover of ASTRAL MEDIA by the CRTC, BELL MEDIA parent BCE INC reported third-quarter operating revenue rose 1.5% to C$4.98 billion, with net income attributed to shareholders off from C$642 million to C$569 million (83 to 74 cents/share), although 2011's figure was boosted by a one-time tax recovery adjustment.
BELL MEDIA revenue rose 25.5% to $546 million, attributed to increased advertising revenues generated by CTV's Olympics broadcast. Division EBITDA increased 92.6% based on higher subscriber fee revenue. However, the company reported that advertising sales across its properties "continued to be impacted adversely by a soft advertising market."
"BELL is making unparalleled investments in the best new networks, products and content, and we're seeing the results in strong growth across our wireless, TV, Internet and media businesses. BELL's robust 5.2% EBITDA growth was driven in large part by outstanding performance at BELL WIRELESS and BELL MEDIA, both of which posted exceptionally strong revenue and EBITDA growth," said President and CEO GEORGE COPE. On the company's conference call, COPE said that the company has requested the federal cabinet to order the CRTC to "follow their policies" on the ASTRAL deal and has extended the outside date for closing the transaction to DECEMBER 16th with an option to extend that to JANUARY 15th,
"We performed well across the business in Q3, posting another sound quarter of EBITDA growth and margin expansion, driven by exceptional wireless and media results as well as substantial net earnings and free cash flow consistent with our plan. Our 2012 financial plan remains on track as we reconfirm today all our BELL and BCE guidance targets for the year," said CFO SIIM VANASELJA. "Our continued strong free cash flow generation, which year to date has grown 7% over last year, has not only enabled significant strategic investment in BELL's broadband wireline and wireless platforms, but also amply supports the recent 10-cent annualized increase in BCE's common share dividend, effective with the dividend payment of OCTOBER 15."
The company also announced that former CANADA PENSION PLAN Investment Board President and CEO DAVID DENISON has joined its Board of Directors.