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Rogers Communications' Q3 Profit Lifted by Smartphone Subscription Revenue

Canada's largest mobile and cable player had a surge in iPhone sign-ups to offset a soft ad market as adjusted earnings rose.

TORONTO – Canadian cable, mobile and media giant Rogers Communications on Wednesday reported lower third quarter earnings, due in part to Canadian ad market softness.

Profits for the three months to September 30 were CAN$466 million ($463.2 million), down 5 percent from year-earlier earnings of $491 million ($488 million), on overall revenue up 1 percent to CAN$3.176 billion ($3.156 billion).

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After stripping out unusual items, a surge in smartphone use by Rogers subscribers helped the group post adjusted earnings up 1 percent to CAN$495 million ($492 million).

“While the competitive challenges and advertising market softness have not abated, we have strong execution which resulted in a further acceleration in the growth rates of both revenue and adjusted operating profits in our wireless and our cable segments, and also on a consolidated basis,” Rogers president and CEO Nadir Mohamed told analysts during a morning call.

Wireless revenue was up 3 percent to CAN$1.88 billion ($1.86 billion), as Rogers activated over 700,000 smartphones, mostly iPhones, during the latest frame.

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Cable revenue was up 1 percent to CAN$838 million ($833 million), while media revenue was off 4 percent to CAN$392 million ($389.5 million).