Telus posts higher Q1 earnings, in part on new Optik TV sign-ups

Telus posted solid Q1 earnings as it bundles internet and home and wireless phone services with its IPTV TV service to draw new customers from rival Shaw Communications.

Western Canadian phone giant Telus Corp. continued to bite into rival Shaw Communications’ TV market share with its internet-based Optik TV service, as it posted higher first quarter earnings and overall revenue.

The mobile phone provider saw earnings for the three months to March 31 rise 6% to $348 million, on total revenue up 4% to $2.63 billion.

That profit performance more than met analyst estimates of quarterly earnings at $339.7 million, on combined sales of $2.65 billion.

On the TV side, Telus added 44,000 Optik subscribers during the latest quarter, bringing its Telus TV customer base to 553,000, up 54% from year-ago levels.

At the same time, Telus faced higher content and support costs for the Optik TV service, as it goes head-to-head in competition with Shaw Communications in western Canada and rival cablers elsewhere in Canada.

Telus bundles the IPTV-based Optik service with its high-speed internet access, home phone and wireless phone offerings to draw new customers away from main rivals Shaw and BCE, which is looking to convert cable TV subscribers to its rival Internet-based Fibe TV offering.