Revenue up, earnings down in Shaw Q4

Reports 4,122 basic cable subscribers in the quarter

TORONTO -- Despite a jump in revenue, Canadian cable operator Shaw Communications on Thursday posted a slight dip in fourth-quarter earnings.

Opening the reporting season for domestic cable giants, Calgary-based Shaw posted a profit of CAN$132 million ($105.6 million) for the three months ending Aug. 31, compared with earnings of CAN$136 million in the year-ago period.

Stripping out one-time items, Canada's second-largest cable operator said that its fourth-quarter profit was CAN$133 million ($106.4 million) against a year-earlier CAN$100 million.

Revenue jumped 13% to CAN$805.7 million ($644.8 million) from CAN$715.5 million in 2007.

Shaw said it had 4,122 basic cable subscribers during the latest quarter, 23,020 new digital TV customers and 24,785 high-speed Internet subscribers.

Shaw also signed up 62,000 new Internet-based digital phone customers, but insisted Thursday that it will hold off on plans to build out a wireless phone network to serve its western Canadian market.