Rogers' profits drop, but don't blame cable business

Canada's second largest MSO, Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI), delivered a "solid quarter to strike 2011," despite a 9 percent year-over-year decline in earnings which fell to $335 million, President-CEO Nadir Mohamed said during an earnings call.

Mohamed admitted that the MSO is in "an intensely competitive market" that has caused it to initiate "strong cost control on the cable side" of its business, Mohamed said.

Cable EBITDA margin climbed 47 percent in the quarter "which is the highest frankly that has been in quite some time," Mohamed said. Basic cable subscribers continued to erode as the company lost a net 8,000 basic subs in the period. It gained 5,000 digital TV, 8,000 high-speed Internet and 7,000 cable telephony customers, it reported. Total cable subscribership was up 7,000 to 2.303 million subscribers.

Cable costs, he said, were adversely affected by sports programming costs for the NHL and NBA coverage, he said.

When it came to the hot business, however, "the most significant driver of our top line growth was the continued strong growth in wireless data revenues," Mohamed said.

For more:
- see this news release (PDF)

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