Higher 4Q for Rogers

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OTTAWA -- Canadian cable and wireless phone giant Rogers Communications on Friday rung up higher fourth quarter profits from ring tones, music and games downloading and other ancillary phone services.

Toronto-based Rogers said it earned CAN$254 million ($250 million) for the three months to Dec. 31, up 44% from earnings of CAN$176 million in 2007.

Fourth-quarter revenues rose 13% to CAN$2.68 billion ($2.6 billion), against a year-earlier CAN$2.37 billion.

Rogers, Canada's largest wireless phone and cable TV provider, said it pulled in higher data transmission, long-distance, add-on features and roaming revenues.

On the cable side, Rogers posted fourth quarter revenues up 13% to CAN$680 million ($671 million), which includes the provision of high-speed internet access and internet-based phone services.

"2007 was a year of continued solid growth in customers, revenues and cash flow while at the same time we further deleveraged our balance sheet, simplified our corporate structure and laid the groundwork for returning increasing amounts of cash to our shareholders," Ted Rogers, CEO and controlling shareholder of Rogers Communications, said Friday.

Rogers said it recruited 65,000 new voice-over-cable telephone subscribers during the latest quarter to take its customer base to 656,000, while it signed up 46,000 new high-speed internet access customers for 1.47 million in all.

Rogers added another 20,000 basic cable customers to take it to just under 3 million in all.

Full-year earnings rose 2% to CAN$637 million ($628 million), against a year-earlier CAN$622 million, on revenues up 15% to CAN$10.12 billion ($9.98 billion) from CAN$8.83 billion in 2007.
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