Canadian media and telecom company Bell said it would cut 1,300 jobs and close six radio stations in a bid to rein in costs as well as sell three AM radio stations controlled by the unit of BCE.
Bell has been struggling to lower costs and boost audience growth as consumers gradually shift to streaming services, which has also led to a pullback in advertising spending.
Operating revenue for the company fell 5.5 percent to $780 million, mainly due to lower advertising and subscriber revenue in its first quarter.
BCE operating revenue increased 3.5 percent over Q1 2022 to $6,054 million. This was the result of 0.9 percent higher service revenue of $5,222 million and a 23.6 percent increase in product revenue to $832 million, driven by growth at Bell Communication and Technology Services (Bell CTS), partly offset by a year-over-year decline at Bell Media.
Net earnings decreased 15.6 percent to $788 million.
BCE’s capital expenditures rose 13.2 percent to $1,086 million in Q1 2023 from $959 million last year, corresponding to a capital intensity14 of 17.9 percent, compared to 16.4 percent in Q1 2022. The increase in capital spending was due mainly to significant investment in expanding Bell’s fibre network, including connecting more homes and businesses to Bell Internet services.