Cogeco Cable Inc. says its fourth-quarter profit slipped 11.3 per cent as challenges in Europe offset strength in its Canadian operations.
Profit for Canada's fourth-largest cable company came in at $39.7-million or 81 cents per share, above analyst expectations of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
The profit marked a decrease from $44.7-million or 92 cents per share in the same period last year, even though revenue was up 5.4 per cent to $324.3-million.
Cogeco Cable continued to experience turbulence at its European operations, which are based in Portugal. Revenue in that division fell 19.2 per cent to $42.2-million.
Cabovisao Televisao por Cabo, SA has faced intense competition since Cogeco acquired it several years ago as its first operation in Europe.
Cogeco Cable stood behind its fiscal 2011 forecast for the company, with revenue targets of $1.3-billion, an increase of 4.6 per cent. Expectations for operating income before amortization are $530-million.
"For fiscal 2011, we anticipate continued growth in most of our performance indicators, including improved financial results at Cabovisao, mainly due to effective marketing strategies, outstanding customer service and continued improvement of our product offering," said Cogeco Cable president and CEO Louis Audet in a release.
Cogeco Inc. , the parent company of Cogeco Cable, reported its profit was down 16.2 per cent to $12.3-million.
On an earnings per share basis profits were 73 cents, above expectations of 63 cents a share.
Cogeco Inc.'s revenue rose 5.5 per cent to $333.7-million, also above expectations.
In addition to its cable and Internet businesses, Cogeco Inc. owns five radio stations in Quebec. The company has agreed to pay $80-million cash to buy 11 additional stations from Toronto's Corus Entertainmen, subject to regulatory approval.
Cogeco is the second-largest cable provider in Ontario with customers in eastern and southern parts of the province.
Rogers Communications Inc. has been a minority stakeholder in Cogeco for a number of years.
Toronto-based Rogers owns nearly one third of the equity of Cogeco Inc. and about one-fifth of Cogeco Cable after spending $163-million last year to increase its stake in the family-controlled Quebec cable company.