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Telus dials in profit

Telus Corp. (TSX:T) reported a higher first-quarter profit of $377 million, driven by growth in wireless, TV and Internet services.

That amounted to 61 cents per share, up four per cent from $366 million, or 56 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue was up five per cent to $2.9 billion compared with $2.75 billion in the same quarter of 2013.

The telecommunications company also raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to 38 cents per share.

Analysts' estimates for revenue were $2.87 billion on net earnings per share of 61 cents, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Telus said it added 48,000 net postpaid subscribers, usually smartphone customers on two-year contracts, in the quarter, down 18.6 per cent from 59,000 in the same quarter last year.

Wireless network revenues increased by 5.3 per cent to $1.44 billion in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period a year ago.

Revenues in its wireline division, which includes TV, Internet and phone services, increased 4.4 per cent to $1.34 billion year-over-year.

Telus said net TV subscribers of 27,000 were lower by 7,000 from the same quarter last year. The total TV subscriber base of 842,000 increased by 130,000 or 18 per cent from a year ago.

High-speed Internet net additions of 21,000 increased by 5,000 over the same quarter a year ago. The high-speed subscriber base of 1.4 million is up 74,000 or 5.5 per cent from a year ago.

"Telus delivered strong revenue and profitable growth in the first quarter driven once again by strong results from both our wireless and wireline operations," chief executive Darren Entwistle said in a news release on Thursday.

Entwistle is stepping down as chief executive of Telus on Thursday when the company holds its shareholder meeting in Vancouver.

He will be replaced by chief commercial officer Joe Natale.

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