So Rogers beat expectations with its Q4 results. Revenue $3.2-billion, EBITDA at $1.1-billion.
"My plan to is to retire next year after more than 30 years in industry more than decade in company. The company is in great shape, I believe it's the right time to start the transition to next generation of leadership." Nadir Mohamed, at start of call. Says will be an update on search for new boss later this year.
Strongest quarter ever for winning new smartphone subscriber, Rogers says.
Post paid average revenue per user saw growth for first time in years, company says.
940,000 smartphones activated in last quarter - that's up 19% from last year and the best quarter ever. Puts smartphone penetration at highest in Canada and top in North America. Smartphones gobble data, which means more money in Rogers' pocket.
Rogers says growth cable in broadband, wireless data means data revenue now accounts for 39% of all revenues of cable and wireless businesses.
So ad market continue to be tough - first time in past few quarters beginning to see uptick in last part of quarter. Offsetting softness was strength in sports properties.
Lastly for full year met or exceeded all of the consolidated guidance metrics we set out at the start of Q1, Rogers says.
69% of Rogers customers are using smartphones.
Rogers CFO: NHL lockout had measurable impact on media results. It dampened revenue growth from ad sales during games that were not aired, but that was more than offset to the reduction in costs that would have been associated with airing the games. NHL vital to the franchise, sports properties and investment in MLSE.
Long discussion about impact of tax items and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Analysts are about to ask questions...
First analyst to ask question starts by congratulating CEO for his tenure.
Rogers says its big focus is reducing churn,in other words keeping its customers.
Talking about data on smartphones, and how new plans making the company more money. More work to do as an industry in making roaming rates friendlier for our customers.
Strategy on data caps for Internet: We've got a winning Internet offering. We've been leveraging our known superiority over DSL and delivering faster feeds at better consistency. Customers come to recognize Rogers has a vastly superior Internet offering. Worked hard to improve customers experience. Removed traffic management processes and upspeeded our network. Continue to play the Internet superiority card and play it aggressively.
I guess the summary of that is: No unlimited Internet, even if Bell is offering it, cause our Internet is awesome.
Rogers: We expect to make some investment to get to right place e in roaming.Go from gettnig early adopters to getting everyone.
On smartphone growth: Next tranche of people we acquire likely to be less willing to spend $70-80 dollars on data. Need other products.
On media division: Look at 2013, benefited from NHL lockout. That helped adjusted operated profit by about $30-million.... next year revolve around key strategy. Sports properties and content related to to that as well as continued strength in other segments in that business.
Rogers Media president Keith Pelley: Significant increase in City distribution. In 80 per cent Canadian homes, ratings up 21 per cent, first time ever two shows in Top 20. In terms of Sportsnet, some distribution deals expire this year, solidified in West with Canucks. Significant synergies with the score, both own and run newsrooms pending regulatory approval - wonderfully complementary service - key focus information news and commentary - think well positioned to grow sportsnet in 2013 in terms of profit.
And that's it for the Rogers conference call. There is a separate media call at 10 a.m., which will probably focus a bit more on what's going on with the CEO's departure.
The Globe will resume its live coverage at 10 a.m. when Rogers begins its call with members of the media.
First question from media is about Nadir's "legacy." He's not biting. Says focused on the job, etc.
On new Blackberry: Early days, and we're not giving out numbers.
Key priority is growth, Rogers CEO says. "What excites me is looking at the next platform - in wireless smartphones will drive growth. All of us using smartphones in ways we never thought. Where will differentiate - we have the lead - we're creating next platform on machine-to-machine and mobile video and mobile commerce."
Future of cable is everything being consumed on the net, Rogers CEO says.
Nadir Mohamed: "If there's one thing you can expect for us, it's for us to continue to grow."
Made decision to retire - people may not appreciate I've been in this business 30 years and will be CEO five years when I retire. Balance sheet never stronger, operations in great shape. Momentum for growth etc
When asked about losing cable subscribers, Rogers basically concedes that cable isn't about TV anymore - it's about Internet.