Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

This is the second quarterly results period for the company with chief executive officer Guy Laurence at the top.

Alfons Lenders

As Rogers Communications Inc.'s new leader prepares to unveil his strategy, the company continues to struggle with limited growth in key businesses, such as wireless and cable.

Chief executive officer Guy Laurence said his travels around the country have given him more clarity around where the Toronto-based telecommunications, cable and media company can improve, as well as the confidence that the business can and will perform better.

"I don't think there's any magic or rocket science needed, it's not about massive mergers and acquisitions or expanding outside Canada," Mr. Laurence said on a company conference call for analysts. "We have the assets ... we just need to make them dance together better than we have done previously."

Story continues below advertisement

Rogers profit reached $307-million or 57 cents a share in the first three months of 2014, down from $353-million or 68 cents in the same period last year. On an adjusted basis, profit was $340-million or 66 cents a share. The results missed analysts' expectations for 71 cents.

Across the company, quarterly revenue was relatively flat at $3.02-billion.

Mr. Laurence said the company's results in the fourth quarter weren't up to his standards. He said his experience in the company over the past three months had increased his confidence in the company's ability to perform better.

The former head of Vodafone UK Ltd. said he would meet with the board in the coming weeks to lay out his plan, which will address the five or six key themes he took away from his travels. "[The themes] were consistent from Vancouver to St. John's, and that gave me some comfort we were actually seeing the true picture across the country," he said, adding that an "appetite for change" was the comment he heard most often.

Revenue in the wireless business, which is the company's largest division, declined 2 per cent to $1.73-billion. The company attributed this drop to pricing changes made in the past year.

Rogers has the largest wireless business in the country, but said it added just 2,000 net new postpaid subscribers in the quarter, compared to 32,000 this time last year.

Some analysts following the company said they do not expect a quick turnaround in Rogers' wireless business, which also revamped its roaming and voice packages last year.

Story continues below advertisement

"We believe a quick turnaround for the wireless business is unlikely …" JPMorgan analyst Richard Choe wrote in a recent note to clients. "We believe the roaming and voice feature plan changes will continue to weigh on results for the first half of 2014."

Rogers faces heightened competition from other telecom rivals in maturing businesses such as wireless and cable. Companies such as BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. are also adapting to changes such as a shift in the federal wireless code, which decreased the maximum terms for cellphone contracts down to two years from three. Both companies have yet to report their quarterly results.

One bright spot in wireless was the rate of monthly churn, which measures customers leaving the company, fell slightly to 1.2 per cent from 1.22 per cent this time last year. Executives called this "a positive trend going forward."

Rogers deepened its commitment to sports in the quarter by adding a new baseball-focused network and extending its deal with the Canadian Hockey League. All this follows its $5.2-billion mega-deal for rights to National Hockey League games. The company said it is "deep into planning" ways to make the best use of these rights.

The company's media business posted an 8-per-cent revenue increase in the quarter to $367-million, although costs such as $5-million on the Next Issue Canada tablet-based subscription service led the division to another adjusted operating loss.

Meanwhile, revenues from cable were largely unchanged at $860-million. Rogers said this was caused by growth in its Internet business being offset by a drop in television and phone revenue, as some TV subscribers were lost.

Story continues below advertisement

The company will face shareholders at its annual meeting in Toronto on Tuesday. Its shares have fallen nearly 8 per cent year to date.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies