Regional telecom Bell Aliant boosts Q2 profit, but revenues lower

HALIFAX – Bell Aliant (TSX:BA) reports a higher second-quarter profit of $72 million, but revenues for the regional telecom company dipped in the quarter.

The Halifax-based company earned 32 cents per share in the quarter. That compares with net earnings of $66 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

Revenue was down 1.3 per cent at $683 million from $692 million year-over-year.

While Bell Aliant had growth in its Internet, TV and wireless revenue, it was offset by lower local, long distance and other revenue.

Adjusted earnings per share were 39 cents in the quarter, unchanged from the same quarter last year.

BCE Inc., Canada’s biggest telecom, recently announced it’s taking full ownership of Bell Aliant through a $3.95-billion deal.

BCE (TSX:BCE), which already owns 44 per cent of Bell Aliant, has said it will maintain its separate identity with most customers and remain a regional affiliate of the Montreal-based parent company.

However, operations like billing and product development will be integrated to reduce expenses if the deal is completed as expected by the end of November.

Bell Aliant will continue to serve customers in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island while its regional telecom operations in rural Ontario and Quebec will join Bell Canada.

As part of the BCE offer, Bell Aliant said the quarterly dividend on common shares that would otherwise have been payable on Oct. 6, will not be paid by Bell Aliant.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly said regional operations in rural Ontario and Quebec would continue to be served by Bell Aliant.