Rogers confident to face increased competition after robust Q4 earnings

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Last week, Rogers announced Its fourth-quarter earnings reported a 25 percent increase in net income to C$508 million, up from C$405 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company said its profit was primarily driven by growth in its wireless (up seven percent) and media (up 17 percent) operations, higher roaming revenue from the lifting of travel restrictions, as well as better returns on its advertising and sports related operations. Revenue, including the Toronto Blue Jays franchise.

Rogers also announced earnings guidancePredicting growth of 4-7 per cent for 2023, while capital expenditure is expected to be between A$3.1 billion and A$3.3 billion, compared to A$3.03 billion in the previous year.

Last year’s capital expenditure focused on investing in its network, expanding its 5G network and improving network reliability, as well as separating its wireless and wireline networks.

The guidance excludes financial penalties that Rogers has repeatedly flagged as a risk for speeding up a decision on the C$26 billion merger deal with Shaw past its closing date. Extended till February 17. However, Rogers said its guidance will be reevaluated after the Shaw transaction closes.

The telecom giant said it could not comment further on the deal as it is subject to government review but reiterated Its commitment to ensure increased competition. “Alberta and British Columbia will remain four strong wireless competitors, and the decision goes forward, concluding that Quebecor will be a more disruptive wireless carrier and that Rogers will present a new and substantial source of competition.” said Tony Staffieri, CEO of Rogers.

The fate of the two-year-long merger battle now rests in the hands of Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, who said last week he was in no rush to pass judgment.

As part of this final decision, Minister Champagne will have to assess whether Quebecor will emerge as a stronger competitor or become too dependent on Rogers after the merger, a major matter of contention during a November 2022 Competition Tribunal hearing. ruled in favor of the merger.

Critics have argued that Shaw’s pre-conditional sale of Freedom Mobile to Videotron as a measure of competition is based on illegal wholesale agreements with Rogers.

Independent Internet service provider (ISP) TekSavvy echoes these concerns in a Proposal to CRTCAccording to TekSavvy, requesting the regulator review Rogers’ proposal to allow Videotron access to its network at below-market rates, which is illegal under the Telecommunications Act. one in recent applicationISP accuses Bell of doing the same newly acquired The subsidiary is asking EBox, and the Commission, to either annul these wholesale agreements or make them universally applicable to competitors until the next steps are determined.

Mark Goldberg, a senior telecommunications industry consultant, argued that TechSavvy’s complaint is misconceived because it is asking the CRTC to rule on the hypothetical assumption that Videotron has already been granted preferential rates by Rogers. he said in a do, “A valid complaint may seek to ensure that agreements are indeed entered into in line with #CRTC policies, but it seems premature to claim that a preference exists, unless it actually does. “

Staffieri barely addressed competition concerns during the earnings call, saying that a larger Videotron would increase competition but that Rogers would not be hurt by it, a message intended to allay the concerns of both investors and the minister. He noted that there are many dynamics in the telecommunications sector, and that a profit for Videotron does not automatically mean a loss for Rogers. “We have thrived in a competitive landscape in the past,” Staffieri said.

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