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Telus CEO says 5G deployment "a marathon not a sprint"

VANCOUVER — As Telus Corp. accelerates investments into its 5G network, CEO Darren Entwistle expects commercialization to take time while the company focuses on developing the right product services and applications.
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A Telus sign is seen on a storefront in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

VANCOUVER — As Telus Corp. accelerates investments into its 5G network, CEO Darren Entwistle expects commercialization to take time while the company focuses on developing the right product services and applications.

“We’ve said repeatedly that 5G is a marathon not a sprint,” he said on the company’s earnings call earlier Thursday.  

Telus expects to have more than 80 per cent coverage in its 5G footprint by the end of 2022.

Telus unveiled positive guidance for 2022 in its earnings release Thursday, with operating revenue and adjusted EBITDA forecast to grow between 8 to 10 per cent. 

This guidance comes as the telecommunications company reported that fourth-quarter profit more than doubled compared with a year earlier, following the sale of its financial solutions business to Dye & Durham Ltd. in December for $500 million. 

Telus also reported net income attributable to common shares totalling $644 million or 47 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $260 million or 20 cents per share a year earlier.

Operating revenue and other income, including the gain on the sale of the financial solutions business, totalled $4.87 billion for the quarter, up from $4.06 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

On an adjusted basis, Telus said it earned 23 cents per share, up from 22 cents per share a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 26 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Telus also saw the total number of subscribers grow 5.9 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2020. 

Telus anticipates 2022 capex to be $3.40 billion and reiterated the expectation of a significantly lower capex in 2023 of $2.5 billion or less.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:T)

The Canadian Press