Business

Shaw delays wireless launch

Shaw Communications Inc.'s revenue rose 19 per cent to $1.08 billion during the last quarter, and the Calgary-based company says it is delaying its plans to roll out a national wireless network by three months.

Revenue increases to $1.08 billion

Shaw Communications Inc., whose revenue rose 19 per cent to $1.08 billion during the last quarter, says it is delaying plans to roll out a national wireless network by three months.

"Our performance for the first three months has us off to a solid start for the year," Brad Shaw, the Calgary-based company's new CEO, said Thursday.

Net income was $20 million, or $0.04 per share for the quarter ended Nov. 30. This compares to $114 million, or $0.26 per share, for the same period last year.

The company, which held its annual general meeting Thursday, also announced it will boost its quarterly dividend by five per cent, to $0.92 per share, starting with the dividends scheduled to be paid on March 30 this year.

Last May, Shaw moved to buy the television assets of the former Canwest empire. Though it had made earlier payments on the total $2 billion price tag, including debt, the company completed the outstanding portions of the acquisition on Oct. 27.

Despite the strong revenue growth across divisions, Shaw said the company will delay its planned wireless rollout.

"We remain committed to wireless and are excited about the opportunity wireless represents for our company going forward," the CEO said. 

"The rapid evolution of wireless technology and changing market conditions, we believe it is best to take a disciplined approach to our wireless rollout to ensure we deliver an exceptional customer experience. Accordingly, during 2011 we plan to invest approximately $150 to 200 million on this initiative and now expect to launch these services in our first major market early in calendar year 2012, approximately three months later than previously anticipated."

Former CEO Jim Shaw announced plans in October to step down. The original plan was to hand over the reins at the company's annual general meeting. But Brad Shaw ended up taking over after Jim Shaw abruptly resigned in November after displaying unusual behaviour at a luncheon in Vancouver.

With files from The Canadian Press

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