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BCE Inc. (BCE-T) posted a $569-million profit in its third quarter as its wireless and Olympic-driven media division more than compensated for weakness in its traditional home phone business.
The Montreal-based company said profit slipped 12 percent from the same quarter last year "mainly due to lower income tax expense" in 2011, and revenues increased 1.8 percent to $4.3 billion.
The company's Bell Media media division - which recently had its $3.4-billion bid for Astral Media shot down by regulators - had a particularly strong quarter thanks to advertising sales for the London 2012 Games. Revenue in the division was up 25 percent to $546 million, although the company warned that advertising across the rest of its properties hasn't fared so well.
"Despite the positive impact on revenues from the Olympics during Q3, advertising sales across Bell Media's properties continued to be impacted adversely by a soft advertising market," the company said in a statement.
BCE said wireless net activations were up 17.1 percent, with its earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization gained 15 percent - the best third quarter of growth in five years. Data revenue increased 29.5 percent.
Its Fibe TV offering saw its best quarter on record, with 42,973 activations bringing the total number of subscribers to the Internet-based television service over 200,000.
"We're executing a strategy of investment in network leadership, product innovation and improved customer service, and I'm proud to say the Bell team has made us a serious contender in every market in which Bell competes," said chief executive officer George Cope.
BNN is owned by Bell Media, a division of BCE.