Telus reported its best fourth quarter on record, with the company attributing the growth to demand for bundled offerings and to customer loyalty, as well as a growing subscriber base. The Canadian operator ended December with 16.887 million subscriber connections, up 5.9 percent from the year before. Full-year results came in line with guidance for growth of up to 10 percent for revenues and up to 8 percent for EBITDA. Looking at 2022, Telus said it sees both revenue and adjusted EBITDA up 8-10 percent, with a free cash flow of CAD 1-1.2 billion and capex at CAD 3.4 billion for spending on 5G and fibre deployments.
For the quarter, revenues jumped 20 percent year-on-year to CAD 4.9 billion, including a pre-tax gain of CAD 410 million, from the disposal of the company’s financial solutions business. Excluding that gain, revenues lifted almost 10 percent. The adjusted EBITDA increased by almost 8 percent to CAD 1.5 billion while the net profit leaped forward to CAD 644 million from 260 million, spurred on by the disposal. The adjusted net profit still went higher by 14.5 percent to CAD 331 million. Meanwhile, the company lifted capex in the quarter to CAD 909 million from 613 million, minus spectrum licences. As a result, the operating cash flow slipped to CAD 896 million from 1.0 billion and the free cash flow declined to CAD 43 million from 218 million.
The company attributed its strong quarter to growth in network revenue, itself boosted by more mobile phone and connected device subscriber bases and higher -year-on-year roaming margins, as well as better mobile equipment, internet, data service and other fixed service margins. Telus International also contributed more and there was less bad debt. Growth was again partly offset by lower legacy fixed voice and fixed data services, and higher employee benefits.
Net additions went to 272,000 in the quarter, up by 19,000 from the year before. The rise included 112,000 mobile phone and 81,000 connected device additions, as well as 40,000 internet, 31,000 security and 18,000 TV customer connections. Residential losses meanwhile amounted to 10,000. Telus said it is moving copper customers to its PureFibre network, finishing 2021 with 11 percent of its TV and internet customer base on copper within its fibre footprint. Most of the remaining copper customers on the fibre footprint should be migrated by the end of this year. The fibre network covered over 2.7 million premises at end December, from 2.5 million the year earlier.
Telus said it has returned CAD 21 billion to shareholders since 2004, including CAD 15.7 billion in dividends and CAD 5.2 billion in share buybacks. The company will be updating its dividend growth policy for the three-year period from 2023 at its AGM in May. The company will again distribute a quarterly dividend of CAD 0.3274 per share.
TELUS is North America’s Fastest Mobile Network according to US-based Ookla
TELUS announced that their mobile network has earned the title of North America’s Fastest Mobile Network and for the ninth consecutive time, named Canada’s Fastest Mobile Network from Seattle-based Ookla®1. Ookla compared user-initiated tests from all the major mobile carriers in Canada to determine who showed the fastest mobile network speeds. As Canadians continue to depend on a reliable and robust network to stay connected to friends and family, work and learn remotely, and watch and listen to their favourite content, TELUS continues to deliver with a Speed ScoreTM of 90.18 and average speeds of 82.44 Mbps for download and 8.18 Mbps for upload.
“More than ever, Canadians value a fast, reliable connection, and the consistent recognition from independent, third-party organizations, such as U.S.-based Ookla, reinforces the superiority of TELUS’ world-leading mobile network,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “This is the ninth consecutive time TELUS’ mobile network has earned top recognition from Ookla, as our team, including our engineers and network innovators, have worked diligently to keep Canadians connected to the people and information that matter most. We are extremely proud of the many ways in which our mobile network, with its global-best speeds, is facilitating critical, transformational change in respect of health, education, teleworking, the environment and the economy. Perhaps most importantly, our world-leading networks are helping to bridge digital divides so that every member of our society has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”
TELUS’ wireless and wireline networks have been serving Canadians with the highest quality and connectivity excellence throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. With significantly more Canadians working and learning from home over the last 23 months, TELUS has accelerated investments in new technologies to further enhance our network reliability, resiliency and world-leading performance standards to ensure our customers have a seamless, robust and reliable experience.
Powered by a significant $54 billion investment in infrastructure and operations through 2024, TELUS continues to expand its 5G network, now reaching 70 per cent of the Canadian population. The evolution of 5G will allow us to connect more than 30 billion life-changing devices, supercharge drones with sensors for improved crop management, make autonomous vehicles smarter and safer, and evolve industrial automation – and that is only the beginning. It is estimated that 5G will create 250,000 jobs and contribute $150 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 20 years.