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Canuck cabler in turnaround

Rogers follows Fido to strong second quarter

TORONTO — Rogers Communications, Canada’s largest cabler, posted a turnaround second-quarter profit Tuesday on the strength of higher revenues, as the company’s three operating divisions continue to turn in solid quarter-over-quarter growth.

Toronto-based Rogers swung to a profit of C$19.2 million ($15.6 million) for the quarter ended June 30 from a loss of $6.5 million a year earlier.

Revenue climbed 29% to $1.4 billion, including 5.3% revenue growth in cable to $406 million, a 47% jump in wireless revenue to $783 million and a 27.1% rev rise at the media division to $238.4 million.

Increase in wireless revenue is in part due to the ongoing integration of rival cellular service provider Fido (also known as Microcell), which Rogers acquired in late 2004. If calculated on a pro forma basis, wireless revenue would have climbed 18.4%.

The media division’s specialty channel Sportsnet benefited from operating cost savings associated with the NHL player lockout, which ended earlier this month. During the quarter, Canada’s broadcast regulator greenlit Rogers Media’s acquisition of Vancouver-based NOWTV.

Rogers’ cable division boasted 33,400 new Internet subscribers and 57,000 new digital cable households, a figure partly offset by the loss of 11,100 basic cable subscribers.

The quarter also saw a management shuffle in which Nadir Mohamed was appointed prexy-chief operating officer of Rogers Communications and Robert Bruce prexy of Rogers Wireless.

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