The economic slowdown that began last year didn’t have much impact on Videotron Ltd.’s financial picture in 2008 and its president is forecasting an equally rosy picture for 2009. On Wednesday, the company reported significant growth for all its products in 2008, for a 14th consecutive quarter. Videotron added 159,100 clients to its illico Digital TV service, the largest customer increase since the service was introduced. As of December 31, 2008, Videotron had 1,715,620 subscribers to its cable television service, including 927,320 subscribers to illico Digital TV; 1,063,850 subscribers to its Internet access service; 851,990 subscribers to its cable telephone service; and 63,400 activated phones on its wireless telephone service. Videotron posted record growth for its cable television service during the year ended December 31, 2008, with an increase of 77,500 subscribers, bringing the total to 1,715,620, compared with an increase of 65,700 subscribers during 2007. Digital television service also registered record growth in 2008 with an increase of 159,100 customers during the year, compared with an increase of 144,600 subscribers during 2007, bringing the total to 927,320 for 2008. As of December 31, 2008, 54% of Videotron’s cable television clients subscribed to its digital television service. In the second quarter of 2008, the customer base for Videotron’s Internet access service passed the one million mark. As of December 31, 2008, there were 1,063,850 subscribers to the service, an increase of 32,400 during the fourth quarter and 130,800 during the year. In 2008, more than 215,600 Quebecers signed up for Videotron's residential telephone service, bringing the total number of residential and business subscribers to 851,990 by the end of 2008. The penetration rate for Videotron residential telephone service (as a proportion of the customer base for cable television service) is now 50%. "Despite the tough economic times, the company is planning for continued growth," said president and CEO Robert Dépatie. "Videotron recently announced the creation of 500 new jobs in all corporate departments. It is forging ahead with its strategy to become a key technology provider and a premiere brand in the world of telecommunications."