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MONTRÉAL, May 5, 2022 – BCE Inc. (TSX: BCE) (NYSE: BCE) today reported results for the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.
“Bell’s Q1 results highlight our continued momentum from 2021 into this year, demonstrating that our accelerated fibre expansion and customer experience improvements continue to offer greater value to our growing base of customers and the communities we live in,” said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.
“Bell’s solid performance across all segments shows that we have the right strategy in place, we’re consistently executing on that strategy and our products and services are resonating with our customers. In particular, I’m proud of the gains we made to continue championing the customer experience with a 36% decrease in complaints per the CCTS mid-year report.
We delivered our best quarterly organic wireless service revenue growth rate in 11 years through balancing the right market share growth with operating profitability. In addition, our net retail Internet and IPTV subscribers activations are up 20% over last year. With our historic capital expenditure acceleration program now in its second year, we will continue to bring direct fibre connections and 5G to more locations across our footprint throughout 2022.
This is the first quarter since the start of the pandemic in which our consolidated financial results surpassed pre-COVID levels and I am very proud of the Bell team for their continued focus on operational excellence, and all that they’ve done over the past two years to deliver for our customers.”
1 Adjusted net earnings and available liquidity are non-GAAP financial measures, adjusted EPS is a non-GAAP ratio, and adjusted EBITDA is a total of segments measure. Refer to the Non-GAAP and Other Financial Measures section in this news release for more information on these measures.
2 Mobile phone blended ARPU is calculated by dividing wireless operating service revenues by the average mobile phone subscriber base for the specified period and is expressed as a dollar unit per month. Refer to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) section in this news release for more information on blended ARPU.
3 Digital revenues are comprised of advertising revenue from digital platforms including web sites, mobile apps, connected TV apps and OOH digital assets/platforms, as well as advertising procured through Bell digital buying platforms and subscription revenue from direct-to-consumer services and Video on Demand services.
KEY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS
Champion customer experience
Bell had the largest reduction of customer complaints among national providers with a 36% decrease over the previous year in the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) 2021-2022 mid-year report. The share of Bell’s overall complaints decreased by 13%, reducing its share for the seventh year in a row. To strengthen its presence in Québec, Bell acquired EBOX and other related companies, and will continue to offer Internet services to the budget-conscious segment of consumers and businesses in Québec and parts of Ontario under the EBOX brand. Lucky Mobile is now available in more than 160 Best Buy locations across Canada, increasing the reach of Bell’s prepaid wireless offering.
Building the best networks with the fastest speeds
Bell introduced a 3-gigabit per second symmetrical Internet service, speeds three times faster than speeds available with cable technology, in most areas of Toronto, and expanding soon to other localities. Bell is also expanding fibre Internet access to 87,000 additional homes in the Ontario communities of Amherstburg, Georgina, Guelph and Pickering, and Bell continued to work closely with governments on projects to bring broadband access to remote and other hard to serve areas, including a large-scale initiative in Newfoundland and Labrador with the federal Universal Broadband Fund.
5G leadership and technology innovation
Building on Bell’s strategic agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate 5G innovation and cloud adoption, Bell deployed the first public MEC (multi-access edge computing) platform with AWS Wavelength in Canada at the edge of its 5G network. Bell also deployed the first global production implementation of Google Distributed Cloud Edge for its core network functions to drive its digital transformation and operational efficiencies. To continue accelerating the development and adoption of AI applications across Bell, it entered into a five-year strategic engagement with the Vector Institute, an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) to encourage the development of this emerging technology in Canada.
Delivering the most compelling content
Super Bowl LVI was the most-watched broadcast in Canada since last year’s Super Bowl, attracting an average audience of 8.1 million viewers on CTV, TSN and RDS according to Numeris. Other sports action included the 2022 Masters Tournament on CTV, TSN and RDS, and the 2022 NCAA March Madness tournament on TSN. In addition, TSN and RDS secured the broadcast rights for the complete 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship season. TSN signed a multi-year agreement with FanDuel, designating FanDuel the official sportsbook partner of TSN with the introduction of sports betting in Ontario, and TSN expanded its TSN 5G View / Vision 5G RDS experience to now include regional coverage of the Winnipeg Jets home games on TSN.
Bell for Better: Better World, Better Workplace
Bell set absolute, science-based GHG emissions reduction targets that are consistent with limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Bell was the only telecommunications company included on the 2022 LinkedIn Top Companies List in Canada, was named one of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers for the sixth consecutive year by Mediacorp, and received the Women in Governance’s Platinum Parity Certification. Bell also welcomed its employees back to most office locations in April with its flexible, hybrid work model, Bell Workways.
Bell donated $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to support critical humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. Bell team members stepped up with over $54,000 in donations through the Team Bell Giving Program, and the funds were matched by Bell for an additional $108,000 donated to Ukraine relief efforts. Bell Let’s Talk announced $500,000 in new grants from the 2022 Diversity Fund to support 6 more organizations working to improve access to mental health care for members of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities in Canada.
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