Rogers sales up as profits decline in Q2

Co. suffers a foreign-exchange loss of $58.1 mil

TORONTO — Despite an uptick in sales, profit at Rogers Communications plunged 90% due to currency costs on its U.S. debts.

Net profit at the Toronto-based cabler, Canada’s largest, fell to C$5.5 million ($4.1 million) for the second quarter ended June 30, down from $40.9 million a year ago.

The jump in value of the U.S. dollar is to blame. Company suffered a foreign-exchange loss of $58.1 million as the greenback rose close to 2% against the Canadian loonie. (Rogers enjoyed a foreign-exchange gain of $87.9 million during the second quarter of 2003.)

Revenue for the cabler, which also has mobile-phone and media divisions, was $983 million, up 14.5%, due to boffo sales upticks in all three divisions. Cable sales were up 9.3% to $359 million, wireless 23.2% to $496 million and media 5.1% to $174.6 million.

“The continued focus across Rogers on stable operating performance, profitable growth and opportunistic de-leveraging is again apparent in this quarter’s results,” said Rogers prexy-CEO Ted Rogers.

Company posted equity losses of $5.4 million for the quarter, mostly due to its investment in the Toronto Blue Jays. Rogers advanced the Jays $19.3 million at the end of June, compared with an advance of $22.8 million in 2003.

Company raised its sales estimates slightly for 2004 to $1.78 billion-$1.82 billion.

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