Rogers Communications Inc. earned 10 per cent more revenue and saw its profits jump by more than a third in the three months leading to the end of June, a financial reporting period that ended just before a devastating outage wiped out the company’s telecom networks across the country.
The telecom giant posted quarterly results before stock markets opened on Wednesday, and the numbers painted a picture of a company whose business was booming.
Wireless service revenue increased by 11 per cent to just shy of $1.8 billion “primarily as a result of higher roaming revenue associated with significantly increased travel,” the company said. Rogers added roughly 122,000 new wireless customers during the quarter, roughly twice the number it added a year ago.
As well, cable revenues increased by 3 per cent to just over $1.03 billion, “primarily as a result of service pricing changes,” the company said.
The media division saw the biggest boost of all, with revenues increasing by 21 per cent to $659 million compared to the same period a year ago. The biggest reason for that uptick was the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, which Rogers owns, being able to once again play home games and televise them from the Rogers Center in Toronto.
This time last year, the Blue Jays were playing home games in the United States due to COVID travel restrictions.
Across all business units, Rogers took in just over $3.8 billion during the quarter, an eight per cent increase from last year, and posted a profit of $409 million — a 35 per cent increase from a year ago.
Cost of outage yet to be accounted for
However, all of this financial performance came before July 8th, when the company’s network was wiped out by a botched upgrade that caused cascading failures across the country.
Rogers estimates that it expects to issue about $150 million in rebates to customers as compensation for the outage, and pledges to spend billions in capital investments to upgrade its systems to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“The investments we are making to enhance the reliability of our networks are the right things to do, and it will not impact our prices in this highly competitive market,” a spokesperson with the company told CBC News this week.
Rogers also officially delayed its self-imposed deadline to finalize its merger with Shaw until the end of the year. When the merger was first proposed in early 2021, both sides expected it to be completed by now, but regulatory delays caused them to push the deadline back until July 31.
On Wednesday, the company revealed it doesn’t expect to be able to make the official deal until the end of this year.