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Calgary's Shaw Communications reports higher Q2 net income of $222 million

CALGARY - Cable and media giant Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B) posted higher net income of $222 million in the second quarter, as it benefited from the sale of two French-language channels.

The earnings, which amounted to 46 cents per share for the three month period ended Feb. 28, compared with net income of $182 million, or 38 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

The Calgary-based company reported that its revenue edged up two per cent to $1.27 billion, from $1.25 billion a year earlier.

Shaw said it recorded a $49-million gain in the quarter after it sold its 50 per cent interest in Historia and Series+ to Corus Entertainment. The deal closed on Jan. 1.

During this period, the company also sold its 49 per cent stake in ABC Spark to Corus, and purchased a 20 per cent interest in Food Network Canada.

The media company said it plans to continue its focus on expanding the digital side of its business to bring value to its shareholders.

"Our focus on leading technology, customer service and value leadership continued throughout the quarter," said chief executive Brad Shaw in a statement.

"We continue to leverage our leading network infrastructure and high quality content, driving profitability and long term growth."

Shaw's cable television division reported $839 million revenue for the quarter, up three per cent.

Satellite TV revenue was $220 million, up 5.2 per cent from $209 million year-over-year.

Shaw said revenue and operating income before amortization in its media division was $239 million in the quarter, down four per cent from $249 million in the same period last year.

The company said it had 1.98 million cable TV subscribers as of Feb. 28, losing 20,758 subscribers in the quarter. Shaw lost 29,525 customers in the same period last year.

It had 1.9 million Internet subscribers as of Feb. 29 and added 12,767 customers in the quarter. Shaw added 7,675 Internet customers in the second quarter of 2013.

The company lost 1,405 satellite TV customers in the quarter, compared with additions of 1,328 customers in the same quarter in 2013. Shaw said it had 892,837 satellite TV customers as of Feb. 28.

Shaw Media also owns Global Television and has specialty channels such as HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, History Television and Showcase.

The Canadian Press

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