Rogers foresees roaming revenue drop

CFO Bill Linton cites fewer Americans traveling to Canada

TORONTO -- Rogers Communications expects to generate less roaming revenue on its wireless network as a weakening U.S. economy discourages Americans from traveling to Canada, its CFO said Tuesday.

"We think travel into Canada and the roaming revenue is going to be lower going forward, or at least flat," Bill Linton told an analyst and investor conference.

He also said the Toronto-based company's media unit is being hurt by a drop in the advertising market.

"We've seen reduced spending on advertising in media. We think that's going to continue," he said, adding that the media unit accounts for about 10% of Rogers' overall revenue.

Rogers Communications owns Canada's biggest wireless company, as well as one of the country's largest cable companies and Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Center where the team plays.

It also owns more than 50 radio stations, several television stations and 70 magazines and trade journals.

The company was also the first to launch Apple's iPhone in Canada. In its last quarter, profit spiked 84% thanks to strong sales of the smartphone.

During the quarter, Rogers sold 255,000 iPhones and Linton said the device had a "huge impact" on results.

"That's going to taper down a bit, but there's still incredible demand for this device."

Rogers shares were up 24 Canadian cents to CAN$33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after Linton's remarks.
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