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Shaw Communications says year off to great start despite pandemic

Shaw logos are on display at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Jan. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Shaw Communications Inc. says its fiscal year got off to a great start despite the ongoing impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive chairman and CEO Brad Shaw says the Calgary-based company’s strategy to “scale our wireless business and deliver profitable wireline results set new records this quarter.”

“Consumers are embracing the launch of Shaw Mobile and the value proposition of our offerings. Demand for our bundled wireless service has significantly exceeded our expectations, resulting in over 100,000 new wireless customers in the quarter,” he said Wednesday.

Click to play video 'Brad Shaw announces the launch of Shaw Mobile' Brad Shaw announces the launch of Shaw Mobile
Brad Shaw announces the launch of Shaw Mobile – Jul 30, 2020

Shaw said it absorbed a net loss of 15,000 internet customers as customers are increasingly choosing faster internet service.

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“I am confident that our bundling initiatives provide a great value proposition for new customers and over time, will drive internet subscriber growth,” Shaw said during a conference call.

“But I am equally pleased with the trends and improved profitability that we have seen in the early days of bundling mobility with our existing wireline customers.”

Read more: Shaw launches new wireless mobile service in Alberta and B.C.

Overall, Shaw reported a first-quarter profit of $163 million, up from $162 million in the same quarter a year earlier, as its revenue crept lower.

The cable and wireless company said the profit amounted to 31 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Nov. 30, unchanged from the same quarter a year earlier.

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Revenue totalled $1.37 billion, down from $1.38 billion.

The results were in line with analyst expectations of 31 cents per share on $1.38 billion of revenues, according to data firm Refinitiv.

Shaw said the consumer and business wireline side of its operations earned nearly $1.06 billion in revenue, down from nearly $1.07 billion a year earlier.

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Read more: 2020 Shaw Charity Classic raises $12M for youth-based Alberta charities despite pandemic

Meanwhile, wireless revenue amounted to $317 million, down from $318 million, as wireless service revenue grew but was more than offset by a drop in equipment revenue.

Shaw said it had record wireless subscriber growth in the quarter with the addition of 101,000 new wireless customers, including 87,300 postpaid net additions and 13,700 prepaid net additions.