TORONTO - Q4 preliminary subscriber results announced today by Rogers Communications showed that growth in Internet subscribers has slowed down since 2002.
While the company added 35,400 new high speed Internet customers in the final three months of 2003, reaching 790,500, that rate of growth is 21.7% slower compared to the fourth quarter of 2002.
On the digital cable side, Rogers added 43,200 customers in the fourth quarter (50,800 set top boxes), a 35.5% increase over the additions in the same period of 2002. At the end of 2003, Rogers had 535,300 digital households (a 33.3% increase over the end of '02) and 613,600 digital terminals in the market.
The company's basic cable customer level stayed basically flat at just under 2.27 million.
As for 2004, Rogers Cable expects to generate revenue in the $1.91 billion to $1.95 billion range and operating profit before management fees in the $710 million to $730 million range for full year 2004. Cable estimates it will add between 120,000 and 150,000 net broadband Internet subscribers and between 100,000 and 120,000 net digital cable subscribers (households) by the end of 2004.
Basic cable subscriber levels are expected to be flat to a decline of up to 1%. Total capital expenditures at Cable in 2004 are expected to be between $440 million and $465 million.
Rogers Wireless expects to report network revenues (excluding revenue from equipment sales) of approximately $2.24 billion to $2.28 billion for the full year 2004. Operating profit before management fees is expected to be in the $820 million to $845 million range in 2004. Total wireless voice and data net subscriber additions in 2004 are expected to be approximately 350,000 to 400,000. At the end of 2003, Rogers Wireless had 3.79 million customers. Total capital expenditures at wireless in 2004 are expected to be between $400 million and $425 million.
Rogers Media expects to report revenue of approximately $920 million to $940 million and operating profit before management fees of between $115 million to $120 million in 2004.
"Rogers' cable and wireless subscriber results in both the fourth quarter and for the full year 2003 clearly reflect our continued success in providing innovation, convenience and value for our customers," said Ted Rogers, president and CEO of Rogers Communications in a statement. "As our guidance for 2004 suggests, we will remain disciplined in the execution of our strategy of profitable growth."
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