Cogeco working to restore reputation for service with system troubles fixed: CEO

MONTREAL — Cogeco says it has completed an system update in Ontario and Quebec that has caused months of problems for the cable and internet company.

Chief executive Philippe Jette says Cogeco has fixed the problems experienced while installing a new customer management system at its Canadian internet and television operations.

He acknowledged the problems resulted in a spike in complaints to the industry’s ombudsman and pushed customers to switch to competitors during the first half of the company’s 2019 financial year.

The number of internet subscribers added by Cogeco in this year’s first and second quarters, ended Feb. 28, was essentially cut in half compared with the growth experienced during same period last year.

It also lost nearly 9,650 video service customers over the six-month period, including 5,093 in the second quarter.

Jette’s comments followed the release of the Montreal-based company’s second-quarter results after markets closed on Tuesday.

Cogeco Communications operates cable systems in parts of Ontario, Quebec and the United States while its parent, Cogeco Inc., also has a media arm that’s primarily focused on French-language radio stations in Quebec.

Cogeco Inc.’s net income attributable to shareholders was $25.7 million or $1.57 per diluted share for the second quarter ended Feb. 28.

That was down from $2.82 per share or $46.6 million a year in last year’s second quarter, when Cogeco benefited from U.S. tax reform.

Cogeco Inc’s revenue rose to $608.6 million in this year’s second quarter, from $554.1 million last year.

Revenue at Cogeco Communications Inc., a publicly traded subsidiary of Cogeco Inc. that reports separately, was $584.1 million while profit attributable to its owners was $76.3 million or $1.53 per share.



Companies in this story: (TSX:CGO, TSX:CCA)

The Canadian Press