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The Corus building sits at the foot of Sherbourne Street along the Toronto waterfront on August 18, 2010. (1--Sarah Dea/The Globe and Mail)
The Corus building sits at the foot of Sherbourne Street along the Toronto waterfront on August 18, 2010. (1--Sarah Dea/The Globe and Mail)

Corus boosts dividend Add to ...

Corus Entertainment Inc. has boosted its dividend after third-quarter results improved, driven by an uptick in advertising revenues for its specialty television channels.

The Toronto-based company, which operates specialty cable channels such as the Canadian version of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and Teletoon, says its monthly dividend will increase by 16 per cent to 7.25 cents per share for Class B shareholders.

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The higher dividend comes as the company said quarterly profits rose to $39.2-million, or 47 cents per share, which is above analyst expectations of 45 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

The stronger earnings compare to profits of $28.3-million a year ago, or 35 cents per share.

Corus, which also owns radio stations across the country, said revenue increased to $211.8 million, above estimates of $209-million from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. A year ago the company posted revenues of $198.4-million.

Corus said television advertising revenues were up 15 per cent in the three month period.

President and CEO John Cassaday said in a release that recent plans to manage costs have shown in the latest round of results.

“The successful conversion of strong top line growth and cost containment initiatives resulted in outstanding operating leverage,” he said in a release.

“Once again, this growth was powered by our core television business and demonstrates strength across our kids, pay, women's and merchandising brands.”

Corus is facing increased competition from web-based services like online TV and movie provider Netflix.

The company has said it intends to be competitive by pushing ahead plans to deliver its licensed content on a variety of devices such as laptops and mobile phones, in addition to television.

The Shaw family, which controls the company through its multiple voting Class A shares, also controls Shaw Communications, Canada's second-largest cable TV operator.

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