Bell EBITDA up 1.5% as it reports record post-paid sign-ups

Canadian wireline, wireless and broadband provider Bell Canada’s operating revenues grew by 1.2% year-on-year in the three months ended 30 September 2009 to CAD3.788 billion (USD3.616 billion), and EBITDA rose 1.5% to CAD1.448 billion. Higher revenues were boosted by the acquisitions of retailer The Source and the remaining 50% of the equity of MVNO Virgin Mobile Canada not already owned by Bell, as well as growth in TV/video revenues that helped more than offset declines in local access, long-distance, and fixed network data revenues. Cellular operator Bell Mobility had total net activations of 135,000 in the third quarter, whilst post-paid net activations of 122,000 were a 3Q record for the company. Bell invested CAD589 million in capital expenditure in the three-month period, or 4.1% more than in 3Q08, supporting projects to enhance its wireless networks, including the deployment of an HSPA 3.5G network, which launched in early November, and the continuing expansion of its fixed broadband network, including a programme to build out fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology in conjunction with rolling out fibre directly to multiple dwelling units (MDUs). Bell Canada’s parent group BCE, which includes regional telco Bell Aliant, reported operating revenues of CAD4.457 billion in July-September 2009, up 0.5% y-o-y, whilst group EBITDA climbed by 1.8% to CAD1.801 billion.

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