Shaw earnings jump 74% in Q2

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TORONTO -- Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications posted sharply higher second-quarter earnings Friday after branching out into the local phone market.

Calgary-based Shaw, the second-largest Canadian cable operator, saw earnings for the three months ending Feb. 28 rise to CAN$79.8 million ($70 million), up 74% from a profit of CAN$45.8 million in 2006.

Revenue at the western Canadian cablecaster jumped 12.2% to CAN$685.7 million ($607.5 million), compared with a year-earlier CAN$611 million.

Shaw said it signed up another 41,721 digital phone subscribers during the latest quarter to take its customer base to 292,625.

The company also racked up another 40,694 high-speed Internet subscribers to reach 1.4 million customers, while adding another 28,641 digital cable TV subscribers for 725,528 customers.

Shaw Communications said it will hike its annual dividend by 12% to CAN$1.12 ($0.99).
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