Cogeco announces 2009 financial results


 Cogeco Inc. of Montreal announced Friday it lost $78.5 million in 2009, but had net earnings of $15 million during the final quarter.


The company’s fiscal year ended Aug. 31. It attributed its lost to a $400 million writedown on its Portuguese subsidiary, Cabovisao – Televisao por Cabo, S.A.


Revenue for 2009 was $1.25 billion, up 13 per cent from $1.1 billion in 2008.


Cogeco operates a cable television company plus Cogeco Data Services Inc., formerly known as Toronto Hydro Telecom. Cogeco bought Toronto Hydro Telecom from the city in 2008 for $200 million.


The firm attributed its revenue increase partly to the Toronto Hydro Telecom acquisition. Cogeco Data Services this week announced a 10-year contract with the City of Toronto for wide-area networking services. The city estimates it will spend a total of $39 million over the life of the contract. Earlier this year, in a separate deal, the Toronto District School Board awarded Cogeco Data Services a wide-area networking contract.


The company outlined various risks to its future financial position in its annual report. It noted the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is scheduled to start hearings in January on the question of forcing telcos and cables to make high-speed access available on a wholesale basis at regulated reates.


“Third party competitors are seeking regulated wholesale access to cable head ends and to dedicated 6 MHz channels on Cogeco Cable’s network over and above the third party Internet access (“TPIA”) services already provided under the terms of a third party access tariff approved by the CRTC,” Cogeco stated in its annual report. “Since Cogeco Cable’s network is a shared network between various users and between various broadcasting and telecommunications services, mandated access by third parties to dedicated channels and to any local head end would adversely affect the capital requirements for cable networks and their efficient operation.”

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