Canuck cabler posts loss

Rising U.S. dollar means Q1 loss for Rogers

TORONTO — Rogers Communications, Canada’s largest cable TV operator, posted a first-quarter loss of C$64.8 million ($47.9 million) due to the rise in the value of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar.

Net income was $17.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Toronto-based company said. Sales rose 13% to $928 million.

The cable TV and Internet services division reported an 8.8% increase in operating profit to $126 million, fueled by 9.3% growth in revenue to $348 million. The unit’s sales and marketing expenses jumped 39%.

Rogers added 38,000 Internet subs and 27,900 digital TV customers in the quarter. The company lost 3,400 basic cable TV subscribers.

Growth at Rogers’ wireless unit, which reported a 41% increase in operating profit as it added 53,800 clients, was wiped out by a $35 million foreign-exchange loss.

The wireless unit’s operating profit rose to $162 million in the first quarter from $115 million year ago.

At the end of March, Rogers had 828,500 Internet subscribers, 2.27 million basic cable clients, 563,200 digital customers and 3.8 million wireless subs.

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