Bell Aliant Q3 comes in at $81 million, down $7 million lower than the same period

HALIFAX – Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX:BA) posted a third quarter profit of $81 million, down $7 million from the same quarter last year.

Earnings for the regional telecommunications company amounted to 35 cents per share, down three cents from the same quarter in 2012.

Operating expenses of $368 million grew 1.4 per cent compared to the same quarter last year on bigger marketing and customer support costs as the company worked to grow its FibreOP customer base.

Operating revenues were $695 million, off slightly from 2012, as growth in TV, Internet, wireless and other revenues was offset by declines in local and long distance revenues.

The company attributed the softer results to pricing and expense recognition changes, as well as costs associated with retain customers in an increasingly competitive environment.

Bell also says net wireline customer activations show strong year-over-year growth, adding 11,600 net new customers for high-speed Internet, up 55 per cent from the quarter last year.

The company provides phone, Internet and TV services in Atlantic Canada and other parts of the country through its subsidiaries.