Shaw up 38% in first quarter

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TORONTO -- Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications on Friday reported a steep rise in first quarter earnings from strong subscriber growth.

Calgary-based Shaw, Canada's second largest cablecaster, posted CAN$112.2 million ($110 million) in earnings for the three months to Nov. 30, up 38% from a profit of CAN $81.1 million in 2007.

Total revenue rose 10% to CAN$743.8 million ($729.2 million), compared with a year-earlier CAN$671 million.

Shaw added 8,138 basic cable customers to 2,234,979, recruited 39,496 digital customers to 802,636, and signed up 34,719 new high-speed Internet clients to take its total to 1.48 million.

The cablecasters also recruited 1,544 new direct broadcast satellite customers for 881,129 in all, and signed up 50,339 digital telephony customers for 435,696.

Company CEO Jim Shaw said the quarterly subscriber growth "was one of the strongest we have had for digital phone and digital, with other product lines showing continued steady growth."
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