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Wireless win will mean new growth for Quebecor: Peladeau

 

VIRGINIA GALT

Globe and Mail Update

August 5, 2008 at 9:21 AM EDT

 

Montreal-based media company Quebecor Inc. is “poised to embark on a new round of growth” as a result of its successful bid for a new wireless spectrum licences covering all of Quebec and part of the Toronto area, the company said Tuesday.

 

“This is a key strategic development for Quebecor media, since consumer demand for advanced wireless services is expected to increase substantially in the coming years,” said chief executive officer Pierre Karl Paul Peladeau, in releasing the company's second quarter financial results.

 

The company, which has gone through a major restructuring, reported consolidated net profit of $57.3-million, or 88 cents a share, compared with $43.2-million, or 77 cents a share, in the corresponding period a year earlier. The year-ago result was dragged down by a $6.7-million loss at the company's former printing subsidiary, Quebecor World Inc., which sought court protection from creditors earlier this year.

 

“Once again, Quebecor's very positive results were spearheaded by robust numbers in the cable segment, which continued to log strong customer growth for all its services,” Mr. Peladeau said.

Quebecor Inc.

 

“At the conclusion of the spectrum auction for advanced wireless services, Quebecor Media held standing high bids on 17 operating licences, covering all of Quebec and part of the Toronto area.”

 

Quebecor bid $554.6-million for the operating licences in the auction that closed late last month – an investment that pave the way for future growth by allowing the company to offer its customers “a still more complete and competitive array of cable and telecommunications services,” Mr. Peladeau said.

 

The company reported that consolidated revenue from continuing operations increased to $942.3-million, up 15.6 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago.

 

Revenue in the cable segment was up 20.3 per cent to $75.6-million, “reflecting continued customer growth for all services,” the company said.

 

Newspaper revenue was up 27.2 per cent to $65.7-million, due primarily to the acquisition of Osprey Media Income Fund in August, 2007, and broadcasting revenue was up 4.2 per cent to $4.5-million.

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