TORONTO — Telus Corp. raised its dividend amid a 10 per cent increase in its third quarter profit and a surge in wireless subscribers.
The Vancouver-based telecommunications brand said after making $447 million or 74 cents a share — up from $406 million or 68 cents a share a year ago — for the period ended Sept. 30, it will now make a quarterly payment to shareholders of 54.5 cents per share, an increase from 52.5 cents.
Chief financial officer Doug French told The Canadian Press on Thursday that he considered the quarter "strong" because of the company's wireless and wireline growth, which has come as Telus has been expanding its fibre network to western Canada.
Telus saw its total customer growth rise to 187,000 and sales from its wireless unit increase by 2.2 per cent, reaching $1.5 billion.
The quarter also brought a 31 per cent spike in new wireless, internet and television customers, which totalled 199,000 — 145,000 net new wireless customers, 36,000 high-speed internet subscribers and 18,000 television customers.
"We have continued to see momentum in both wireline and wireless," French said. "We have had a very, very consistent strategy...We continue to see good churn and good customer service, which helps on the front of net loading."
On top of wireless and wireline offerings, the company has been pouring resources into creating its 5G network and building small cell technology, which is needed to sustain the network.
French said 5G likely won't be a fully-fledged service offering until closer to 2020, but investing early will mean Telus will be able to transition more quickly to the 5G spectrum, when it is available.
Telus is anticipating 5G will be a hit with consumers because the company is seeing demand for speed and capacity.
"We are seeing data continue to grow and the demand for data continue to grow...We expect that to continue," he said. "What 5G brings to the table is definitely more speed and less latency, so things will happen significantly faster."
French and other executives on the Telus earnings call noted that the company's quarter also brought a spike in operating revenue, which totalled $3.77 billion and was up from $3.40 billion in the third quarter of 2017.
Thomson Reuters Eikon showed that the company's increase in profit beat analysts' expectations, which predicted the company would report earning 70 cents per share instead of the 74 cents per share it revealed.
The company also announced Thursday that Denise Pickett, American Express's chief risk officer and president of global risk, banking and compliance, had joined Telus's board.
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