Quebecor boosts dividend as revenue rises, but swings to a Q1 loss

Quebecor boosts dividend as revenue rises, but swings to a Q1 loss

MONTREAL — Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) says its dividend is going up 22.2 per cent as a result of a strong balance sheet and capacity to generate cash from its diverse holdings, which include the growing Videotron mobile phone business.

The dividend increase to 5.5 cents per share, starting with the June 20 payment to shareholders, was announced along with first-quarter results that came in short of analyst estimates.

Revenue was $996.4 million up 2.2 per cent from last year but slightly below analyst estimates of $1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Quebecor said revenue growth was led by its telecommunications arm, which includes Videotron’s mobile, cable and internet services. It said Videotron had a 5.7 per cent increase in monthly revenue per user compared with the first quarter of 2016.

The Montreal-based company also had a net loss of $200,000 — less than a cent per share — mostly because of an unfavourable swing in the market value of financial derivatives. Analysts had estimated a profit of 46 cents per share.

A year earlier, Quebecor had $69.9 million or 57 cents per share of net income and $975.4 million of revenue.

The Canadian Press

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