Today, Rogers announced its first quarter 2023 (ending Mar. 31) results, reporting a 30 per cent jump in profits to C$511 million.
Total revenue increased by 6 per cent to C$3.84 billion, missing the C$3.93 billion estimated by eight analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Its wireless business had the strongest performance, with a seven per cent increase in revenue, which Rogers says is due to higher roaming revenue associated with increased travel.
The telco said it added 95,000 monthly bill paying wireless phone subscribers, compared with 193,000 in the previous quarter.
Wireless equipment revenue also went, up by 22 per cent, as more customers upgraded their devices.
Its media business also did well, climbing five per cent, as the effects of the pandemic waned.
But its cable business suffered, dipping by two per cent. Rogers blames increased competitive promotional activity as well as lower video and home phone revenue.
Demand for Rogers’ 5G services remained high, with continued network expansion reaching over 2,000 communities, the company said.
It added that the closing of its historic merger with Shaw will also “accelerate the delivery of critical 5G service across Western Canada, from rural areas to dense cities, more quickly than either company could achieve on its own.”
Rogers also said it had hired over 1,100 frontline team members as of Mar. 31 to improve customer experience, and promised to repatriate hundreds of Shaw customer service jobs by Sept. 2023.
The regulatory approval of the C$26 billion merger came with legal conditions that required Rogers to invest massively in improving network services and increasing jobs in Western Canada.
If the conditions are not met, Rogers will be liable to pay penalties of up to C$1 billion.
Despite the forecasted increase in capital expenditures on merger-related activities for 2023, Rogers boosted its revenue increase guidance shortly after the closing of the merger, from 4-7 per cent to 26-30 per cent.
The company paid C$253 million in dividends to shareholders this quarter and yesterday declared a $0.50 per share dividend to be paid on Jul. 5 to shareholders of record on Jun. 9, 2023.
“The combined Rogers and Shaw has the scale, assets, and capabilities needed to deliver unprecedented wireline and wireless broadband and network investments, innovation, and growth in new telecommunications services, and greater choice for Canadian consumers and businesses,” said Rogers in its earnings statement.