(Adds details, estimates)
April 26 BCE Inc, Canada's largest
telecommunications company, reported a better-than-expected
quarterly profit on Wednesday, driven by an increase in net
The company, popularly known as Bell, added 35,728 postpaid
customers on a net basis in the first quarter, more than the
30,000 additions that analysts at Cannacord Genuity had
BCE's postpaid customers paid C$65.66 a month in the quarter
ended March 31, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
Rogers Communications Inc, against whom BCE
competes in wireless as well as for television and internet
customers, added 60,000 net postpaid wireless subscribers in the
first quarter. The third major national wireless player, Telus
Corp, is due to report earnings on May 11.
BCE added 22,402 customers in its Fibe TV business and
14,989 customers in its high-speed internet segment but lost
38,065 satellite TV customers during the quarter.
Net income attributable to the company's shareholders fell 4
percent to C$679 million ($500 million), or 78 Canadian cents
per share, hurt by costs related to its acquisition of Manitoba
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 87 Canadian
cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 83
Montreal-based BCE'S operating revenue rose 2.2 percent to
(Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju