Telus reports 8.9 million wireless subscribers in Q4 2017 results

Telus logo on wall

Telus today announced its Q4 2017 and fiscal 2017 results. Like its two main competitors, Telus ended the year on a high note.

For the three-month period that ended on December 31st, 2017, the carrier posted an operating revenue of $3.47 billion CAD, up from $3.31 billion during the same period last year. Meanwhile, net income increased by $195 million year-over-year to $282 million in Q4 2017.

Focusing in on the company’s wireless business, network revenue for the quarter increased by 5.4 percent (or $91 million) to $1.8 billion.

Telus attributes the positive growth to a number of factors.

To start, the carrier added approximately 74,000 subscribers from Bell MTS (as part of its acquisition of MTS, Bell was forced to divest some subscribers to Telus and Xplornet).

In addition, Telus says a greater number of its customers took on more valuable two-year rate plans, specifically calling attention to its most expensive Premium Plus plans. Moreover, the carrier’s subscribers took on larger, more expensive data buckets, and made more frequent use of its data top-ups offers. Lastly, a greater number of Telus subscribers finished 2017 with a smartphone.

As a result of all these factors, blended average revenue per user (ARPU), which includes both prepaid and postpaid subscribers, increased by 1.6 percent to $67.27. Q4 2017 is the 29th consecutive quarter in which that metric has increased for the carrier.

Meanwhile, monthly subscriber postpaid churn — that is, the percentage of customers leaving the carrier for one of its competitors — increased by 1 basis point to 0.99 percent. According to Telus, fiscal 2017 is the fourth consecutive year in which it has managed to keep postpaid churn below 1 percent.

By contrast, during its most recent fiscal earnings call, Rogers reported a monthly postpaid churn of 1.48 percent, while Bell put its churn at 1.35 percent during its earnings call this morning.

Returning to Telus, blended monthly churn declined by 2 basis points to 1.23 percent, which the carrier says reflects a greater mix of postpaid subscribers compared to prepaid customers.

Across its main verticals, Telus added 156,000 postpaid customers, with 121,000 wireless postpaid net additions. For the quarter, Postpaid net additions increased by 34,000 year-on-year. Here Telus alludes to the recent Big Gig pricing wars, stating it put up a “successful response to aggressive holiday offers”

All told, Telus has 8.9 million wireless subscribers going into fiscal 2018 — an increase of 3.8 percent from the same period last year.

Source: Telus

Correction: a previous version of this article mistakenly stated Telus acquired 140,000 subscribers from Bell MTS. The number is actually 74,000.

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