Rogers reduces red ink

Canuck cabler posts net loss of $22.5 mil, compared with $47.0 mil in '99

TORONTO — Excluding non-recurring items, Canuck cabler Rogers Communications halved its losses for its first quarter.

Net income for the first quarter ended March 31 was C$19.3 million ($13.1 million), a significant drop from the $32 million posted for the first quarter of 1999.

Rogers recorded an after-tax gain in the first quarter of 2000 on the sale of its 20% interest in Canadian Satellite Communications (CanCom). Last year, Rogers’ black ink came from the sale of other core assets, including a termination payment from Yahoo! Inc., received in exchange for its exclusive rights for Yahoo! Canada.

When nonrecurring gains from both quarters are excluded, however, Rogers posted a net loss of $22.5 million, compared with a loss of $47.0 million for the first quarter of 1999.

“Really, what we did was we halved our loss per share,” said Dave Robinson, Rogers’ VP of financial planning and investor relations.

Revenue for the quarter was $548.5 million, up almost 14% on the same quarter last year. The company said the jump is due primarily to growth in wireless and cable revenues.

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