BCE profit rises $556M, revenue almost unchanged

BCE Inc. has reported at 6.6% increase in net earnings in the first quarter, although revenue remained almost unchanged year over year. Canada’s largest communications company says net earnings attributable to common shareholders were $566 million or 73 cents per share, up from $531 million or 69 cents in the same 2012 period. Revenue rose […]

BCE Inc. has reported at 6.6% increase in net earnings in the first quarter, although revenue remained almost unchanged year over year.

Canada’s largest communications company says net earnings attributable to common shareholders were $566 million or 73 cents per share, up from $531 million or 69 cents in the same 2012 period.

Revenue rose to $4.34 billion from $4.33 billion, a 0.3% increase driven mainly by a 1.3% increase in wireless, TV, internet, media and business services such as data hosting and cloud computing.

Adjusted net earnings increased 11.5% to $599 million or 77 cents per share, from $537 million or 69 cents per share.

“Industry-leading investment in next-generation networks and services continues to drive Bell’s transformation,” president and CEO George Cope said in a statement.

“With the Bell team’s focused execution of our six strategic imperatives, our operating mix is increasingly dominated by wireless, TV, media and Internet growth services (which) now representing more than 80% of Bell’s revenue.”

At its annual general meeting Thursday, BCE said it hopes to reduce costs by $170 million this year by putting pressure on external vendors and switching more customers to electronic billing.

That’s on top of $1.5 billion in cost reductions last year.

“We have had to change our cost structure and it has been painful,” Cope told shareholders.

The company says growing its media operations, investing in new technologies such as mobile banking and increasing its customer base are some of its goals as it adapts to a quickly changing market.

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