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Quebecor reports Q1 profit down, telecommunications helps lift revenue higher


MONTREAL — Quebecor Inc. reported its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago as its revenue climbed higher, helped by gains in its telecommunications business and recent acquisitions.

The Montreal-based company said Thursday that its net income attributable to shareholders totalled $121.3 million or 49 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, down from a profit of $131.6 million or 52 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter totalled $1.09 billion, up from nearly $1.06 billion in the first quarter last year.

"We’re off to a good start in 2021, despite the challenges created by the public health situation, which continues to impact some of our business segments," said Pierre Karl Péladeau, Quebecor's president and chief executive, in a release.

His company's adjusted income from continuing operating activities totalled 52 cents per share in the quarter, up from 44 cents per share in the first quarter of 2020.

Its telecommunications revenue rose to $914 million in the quarter, up from $874.7 million a year ago.

Meanwhile, Quebecor's media revenue held steady at $174.8 million, while sports and entertainment revenue fell to $31.2 million compared with $34.8 million in the same quarter last year.

The quarter was boosted by Quebecor's acquisition of Les Disques Audiogramme Inc., an independent French-language record label, in February.

The sale also included Editorial Avenue, a French-language music publisher Quebecor hopes to use to support local artists and music.

A day after the quarter ended, Quebecor's Videotron subsidiary announced it would spend again. This time it was buyin Cablovision Warwick Inc., a telecommunications company serving the Warwick, Kingsey Falls and Saint-Félix-de-Kingsey in the Centre-du-Quebec regions for more than four decades. 

"This transaction further illustrates our commitment to connecting people in all parts of Quebec and providing them with a unique, world-class customer experience," said Péladeau on Thursday.

He also used the quarter to thank Jean François Pruneau.

Pruneau announced in April that he would be stepping down from his role as Videotron's president and chief executive after 20 years with the company.

His last day is expected to be June 4.

"His strong leadership and keen business acumen have made an important contribution to developing the corporation’s business plan and building its solidity," said Péladeau. 

"I wish him every success in his new challenges."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:QBR. B)

The Canadian Press

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