Telus Capex grew 2.9% to C$665 million in first quarter

Telus Corporation said its capital expenditure (Capex) rose 2.9 percent to C$665 million in Q1 2020, mainly due to investments to enhance network capacity and to support increased voice traffic.
Telus CEO Darren EntwistleTelus spent funds on enhancing wireless speeds and coverage, including pre-positioning for 5G network, connecting additional homes and businesses to fibre-optic technology and for improvements to systems’ reliability, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Telus PureFibre network covered approximately 2.28 million premises, or approximately 71 percent of high-speed broadband footprint, reflecting an increase of approximately 340,000 fibre premises over the last twelve months.

Telus said its operating revenue increased 5.4 percent to $3.7 billion in the first quarter of 2020. EBITDA increased 2.2 percent to $1.4 billion reflecting growth in wireline data service margins, an increased EBITDA contribution from Telus International customer care and business services. Telus said net income decreased 19 percent to $353 million.

Darren Entwistle, president and CEO of Telus said: “We are leveraging and enhancing our digital capabilities to safeguard team member and customer health and to support customer transactions to help offset the impact of store closures.”

Canada’s networks operate very well through the COVID-19 crisis. Canada is the fastest across 45 countries tested for 4G download speeds for mobile experience, according to Opensignal that analysed 4G download speeds globally on a weekly basis from January through the end of March 2020.

Countries like Australia and the U.K. were challenged to support the added traffic and pressure, at times experiencing download speeds up to 15 percent and 30 percent slower, respectively, Opensignal said.

Telus was recognized in Tutela’s Canada State of Mobile Networks Report April 2020 for its global network leadership, winning three of the national awards for Core Consistent Quality, Download Throughput, and Latency, and tying for Excellent Consistent Quality.

Wireless operating revenue fell by $40 million or 2.1 percent. Mobile phone ABPU increased 0.2 percent to $72.30. Mobile phone ARPU decreased $0.73 or 1.2 percent to $58.60 in the first quarter of 2020.

Telus said mobile phone gross additions were 265,000, reflecting a decrease of 4,000. The reduced customer switching activity between carriers and the temporary closure of certain sales channels in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted Telus.

Total subscriber net additions were 70,000, compared to 60,000 in the prior year. Mobile phone additions were 21,000 in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 10,000, driven by lower mobile phone churn, partly offset by lower mobile phone gross additions, as described above.

Mobile connected device net additions of 49,000 were flat compared to the first quarter of 2019, as growth in our Internet of Things (IoT) offerings and consumer health personal emergency response system (PERS) devices were fully offset by a decline in tablet loading, which is a low or negative margin product.