Rogers Media revenues drop 4% in Q4

Revenues decreased to $526 million from $550 million a year ago, largely due to a shorter Toronto Blue Jays playoff run.
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Cable and wireless revenues offset media declines at Rogers Communications, which reported Thursday that its overall Q4 revenues increased 3%.

Revenues for the company’s media unit decreased 4% to $526 million from $550 million a year ago, largely due to lower Toronto Blue Jays revenues (the team had a longer post-season run in 2016), as well as lower publishing-related revenues as the company shifts its focus from print to digital publications.

The company reported overall revenues of $3.63 billion in the quarter, up from $3.51 billion in the same period last year. The growth was largely due to an increase in postpaid wireless subscribers (net additions of 72,000 subs in the quarter to 8.7 million total subscribers), as well as higher revenues per user (up $2.74 to $63.46), according to its quarterly report.

Rogers was one of several service providers to offer promotional deals of 10 gigabytes of data for $60 per month for a limited time in December. In a call with investors on Jan. 25, in which participants focused heavily on the impact of the December promotion, Rogers CEO Joe Natale said there’s clearly a “voracious appetite for data in the marketplace.”

As for cable revenues, the company reported overall growth of 2% to $871 million from $858 million in the same quarter last year. Breaking that down, internet revenues increased 9%, due to customers moving to higher-speed offerings, while TV revenues decreased 4% in the quarter to $372 million from $386 million. Rogers saw total TV subscribers decline from 1.82 million in 2016 to 1.74 million at the end of Q4 2017.

Overall, Rogers saw higher operating profit in the quarter, up 6% to $1.34 billion, primarily due to wireless operating profit growth of 9%.

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