Telus Reports $2.6 bn Capex in 2023, 5G Network Expansion Continues

Telus, a leading Canadian telecommunications company, has disclosed its significant capital expenditure (Capex) reaching approximately $2.6 billion in 2023.
Telus CEO Darren Entwistle
This investment has propelled the expansion of its 5G network, which now covers over 31.6 million Canadians, constituting about 86 percent of the population by December 31, 2023.

Looking forward to 2024, Telus aims to maintain its capital expenditure at approximately $2.6 billion.

The company’s fourth-quarter report for 2023 reveals a 19 percent decrease in capital expenditures, amounting to $533 million, with $47 million allocated for real estate development. This reduction is primarily attributed to the deliberate deceleration in fiber and wireless network construction and systems development, aligning with the company’s 2023 build targets compared to the heightened investments seen in 2022.

However, real estate development expenditures witnessed an $11 million increase in the fourth quarter of 2023, reaching $47 million, mainly to support ongoing multi-year projects like TELUS Ocean and various commercial constructions in British Columbia.

Despite these expenditures, Telus reported a 2.8 percent increase in revenues, totaling $5.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2023. This growth was predominantly fueled by higher service revenues in two key segments: TELUS technology solutions (TTech) and Digitally-led customer experiences – TELUS International (DLCX).

The TTech segment witnessed service revenue growth driven by elevated mobile network revenues, augmented fixed data service revenues, and an uptick in health services revenues. Conversely, revenues from TV and fixed legacy voice services experienced a decline due to technological advancements and market dynamics impacting consumer choices.

The DLCX segment saw a boost in revenues from expanded services for existing clients and the acquisition of new clients, including those gained from the WillowTree acquisition in January 2023.

Darren Entwistle, Telus’ President and CEO, highlighted the company’s robust performance, attributing it to their cutting-edge broadband networks and customer-centric approach. He emphasized a record-breaking fourth-quarter customer growth with total net additions reaching 404,000, a 34 percent increase year-over-year.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, Telus recorded 404,000 customer additions, a significant rise compared to the same period in the previous year. These additions encompassed 126,000 mobile phones, 203,000 connected devices, 36,000 internet, 23,000 TV, and 23,000 security customer connections, partially offset by a loss of 7,000 residential voice connections. Telus’ total TTech subscriber base exceeded 19.3 million, reflecting a 7.6 percent increase over the last twelve months.

Moreover, Telus reported a decline in mobile phone average revenue per user (ARPU) to $58.50 in the fourth quarter of 2023, attributed to lower overage revenues and competitive pricing strategies. The mobile phone churn rate increased to 1.40 percent in the same period, primarily due to heightened promotional activity.

Furthermore, the company noted a significant increase in connected device net additions, reaching 203,000 in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by rising IoT connections, particularly in transportation, healthcare, and home security sectors in Canada.