Several telecommunications firms have recently released their latest financial statements with most of them issuing first quarter 2002 results. The lone exception, however, is SaskTel, which produced its annual report. Telus Corp.The country’s second-largest telco reported consolidated revenue growth of two per cent in Q1 2002. Total revenue was basically flat at $1.3 billion. The company attributed this chiefly to a decline in contribution revenues of $97 million. Data revenue increased by 28 per cent, or $75 million, while other revenues jumped 15 per cent, or $13 million. Local voice revenue increased by $21.2 million, or 4.2 per cent, compared to a year earlier. Price increases in mid-2001 resulted in access revenues jumping by $14 million. There was also growing demand for calling features such as call display. LD declined 4.2 per cent or $11.6 million compared to Q1 2001. This was partially offset by a new LD plan administration fee and a two-cent per minute rate increase for residential subscribers. Network access lines declined by 21,000, split between residential (12,000) and business (9,000). The company ascribed the consumer decrease to the number of people removing second phone lines after they switched to high-speed Internet service. Capex fell by 14.5 per cent, and the company expects that trend to continue. The decline occurred across the board, on CLEC rollout, ILEC maintenance, and wireless services. Contribution revenue fell by 84 per cent, or $96.8 million. There was also a decrease in contribution expense under the CRTC’s restructured band rules. Telus is now projecting it will become free cash flow positive next year. Earlier estimates had pegged that development occurring in 2004. AT&T Canada Corp. The CLEC announced it was cutting capex and slashing jobs in an attempt to improve its financial picture. Capex spending for this year is expected to be between $200 and $220 million. AT&T Canada wants to save about $80 million on annual operating costs. The telco is cutting 1,000 jobs, after reducing its workforce by 650 people last year. That action last year saved the company approximately $40 million in operating costs. Revenues for Q1 2002 were $383.8 million, down from $394.4 million a year earlier. Expenses, EBITDA, and depreciation also fell. As a result, the quarterly loss for 2002 was $53 million, compared to $59.8 million posted in Q1 2001. The firm trumpeted the changes in the contribution regime and expressed hope that the forthcoming price cap decision will also benefit it and other competitive carriers. AT&T Canada also announced that it has amended its lending agreement. The company says its business plan is fully funded "through to the latter part of 2003." Call-Net Enterprises Inc. The Sprint Canada parent reported a sharp decline in its losses for the first quarter of this year. The loss for Q1 2002 was $91.8 million, less than half the $185.9 million posted a year earlier. The telco attributed much of this to lower foreign exchange loss on its American dollar debt. Revenue also fell to $201.8 million, down from $263.1 million in Q1 2001. For Q4 2001, revenue was $215.1 million. Call-Net said lower volume and pricing was the principal reason for the decline."The bankruptcy of some wholesale customers and the transfer of certain wholesale customers’ long distance minutes onto their own networks also contributed to the decline in long distance volumes since last year," the company noted. LD pricing fell by 20.1 per cent due to price competition. The company has been aggressively moving into the local residential market (NL, Mar. 25/02). As a result, local services revenue jumped by 165 per cent, or $7.6 million. Call-Net is also anxiously awaiting the price cap decision. It warns that if the ruling is different than expected, it may have to rethink its current projections. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. The prairie ILEC reported slight increases in revenues from traditional operations. Local, LD, and directory services brought in $151.3 million, an increase of 0.8 per cent from Q1 2001. Local revenues were up by $0.6 million to $93.1 million as a result of rate increases. Lower contribution income offset the revenue gain. LD revenue was up 1.2 per cent to $51.1 million, again due to price hikes. Volume was down slightly. Directory revenues were unchanged, at $7.1 million. Much of the Q1 report was devoted to the changes caused by the integration of Bell Intrigna into the new Bell West (NL, Apr. 23/02). MTS has a put option that allows the telco to sell its interest in Intrigna in 2004 at a guaranteed value of $458 million, along with an eight per cent return on the incremental funding that MTS contributes to Bell West’s rollout. The company estimates the total value of the put option is $650 million. Total operating revenues in Q1 2002 were $290.4 million, up from $234.5 million a year earlier. Figures for EBITDA, net income, and basic earnings per share all declined slightly from the previous year. SaskTel Unlike the other telcos, SaskTel was releasing its annual report last week. Since it is a Crown corporation, the firm does not have to worry about shareholder value or paying dividends to investors. Wireline operations still make up the bulk of SaskTel’s income, producing $118.9 million of the $160.3 million total. This represents 71.1 per cent of the company’s income source. Wireline income in 2001 jumped by $42.1 million, representing a 54.8 per cent increase. SaskTel was one of the few ILECs to benefit from the changes in the contribution regime. The increase in contribution revenues, even when offset by contribution expenditures, resulted in a $14 million benefit last year. Operating revenues were $852.8 million last year, up from $777.7 million in 2000. Operating expenses also jumped, from $667.3 million two years ago to $700 million in 2001. Contribution earnings and rate increases produced growth in local revenues. LD revenues declined, despite rate hikes. The company attributed this to subscribers opting for flat rate and unlimited LD plans. Still, the provincially-owned telco holds 90.6 per cent of the LD market share in Saskatchewan. Amtelecom Group Inc. Revenues for Q1 2002 were $25.6 million, compared to $27.3 million a year earlier. The Ontario independent telco pointed out that this year’s first quarter had two fewer working days than 2001. EBITDA was $2.8 million in 2002, down from $3.9 million in Q1 2001. Earnings for Q1 2002 were $0.4 million, or four cents per share, down sharply from last year’s $0.9 million or eight cents per share. The adjusted 2001 results reflect the adoption of a new standard for goodwill and other intangibles that the company started at the beginning of the year. Primus Canada Inc. For the first time, the reseller, a subsidiary of Primus Telecommunications Group Inc. of McLean VA, has issued Q1 results for its Canadian operations. Net revenue for Q1 2002 was $66.1 million, with a mix of 70 per cent residential and 30 per cent business. EBITDA was $15 million, compared to $3.8 million a year earlier and $11.5 million in Q4 2001. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $18.4 million, compared to $24.3 million in Q1 2001 and $20.7 million in the final quarter of last year.