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The Bell logo is seen on the company's building in downtown Montreal February 9, 2011. (Shaun Best/Reuters/Shaun Best/Reuters)
The Bell logo is seen on the company's building in downtown Montreal February 9, 2011. (Shaun Best/Reuters/Shaun Best/Reuters)

Bell Aliant posts profit of $83-million Add to ...

Atlantic Canadian phone company Bell Aliant Inc. earned higher profits in the latest quarter but saw its revenues fall slightly.

The Halifax company said Wednesday it earned a net profit of $82.7-million or 36 cents a share for the second quarter ended June 30.

That compared with net earnings of $46.5-million for the same period last year.

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Operating revenues in the quarter fell to $693-million from $700-million, reflecting lower local and long distance revenues, which were partially offset by increases in Internet and TV revenues.

However, the company raised its revenue guidance slightly for the full year.

"Focused execution of our strategic priorities has resulted in our revenue trajectory continuing on an improved track," said Karen Sheriff, president and chief executive.

"The growth rates of our Internet and TV revenues have increased while the rates of decline in our traditional voice and data services have slowed. Our significant investment in a world-class fibre-to-the-home network is contributing to this improvement and gives us confidence that we are on the right path to returning to overall revenue growth."

Bell Aliant said it now expects full-year revenues to range between $2.7-billion and $2.78-billion, up from its February predictions of between $2.65-billion and $2.75-billion.

"Our revenue performance for the first half of 2011 has exceeded our expectations in a number of areas," said Glen LeBlanc, the telecom operator's chief financial officer.

"We expect many of these positive trends to continue for the balance of the year, which has led us to revise our 2011 revenue guidance upward."

The company also said it expects capital spending to be at the high end of its earlier guidance and Bell Aliant should be "firmly within our original guidance ranges for EBITDA, free cash flow and adjusted earnings per share."

In Wednesday trading on the TSX, Bell Aliant shares fell 14 cents to $27.95.

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