Rogers reported its Q4 earnings late last night, and we’re seeing the fruits of a company performing at the top of its game. Revenue was up 3% from the same period a year ago, to $3.25 billion, while net profit improved 30% to $455 million. Wireless data revenue was the clear winner here, accounting for 42% of the total network; total wireless revenue improved 5% to $1.92 billion.
According to Rogers’ retiring CEO, 69% of Rogers wireless customers are using smartphones, 940,000 of which were activated in the three months ending December 31st. Rogers now boasts an impressive blended ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) of $60.48, up $1.66 from the same time in 2011. This is due to a huge increase in postpaid ARPU ($69.75) and a sizeable shift in the company’s userbase from pre- to postpaid subscribers.
According to the earnings statement, the wireless data portion of Rogers’ blended ARPU increased by 19.6%, but was offset by a 6.8% decline in voice revenue, caused by a “heightened level of competitive intensity in the wireless voice service market.” In other words, carriers are realizing where their golden ticket lies, and it’s no longer with users making phone calls.
Rogers’ total customer base now sits at 9.437 million customers, well ahead of second-place Bell and third-place TELUS. It’s interesting to note that TELUS now has a higher blended ARPU than Rogers ($60.95 to $60.48), likely because Rogers has a higher percentage of prepaid customers in relation to its wireless subscriber base.
The company has, with 69% of its wireless base on smartphones, the highest penetration in Canada, and it’s guidance for 2013 looks to convert even more customers to postpaid smartphone plans. Without reading too much into the order of the list, according to the release, “the smartphones activated and upgraded during the quarter were predominantly iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices.” We’re interested to see how the BlackBerry Z10 affects the makeup of Rogers’ smartphone base, but 2013 looks to be another successful year for the company.