CORRECTED-BCE profit rises 8.7 pct as wireless business posts strong growth

Tue May 6, 2014 6:52am EDT

(Corrects paragraph 2 to say that figure is net income attributable to shareholders, not net income, and paragraph 3 to say operating revenue rose 3.7 percent to C$5.09 billion, not 4.4 percent to C$4.5 billion)

May 6 (Reuters) - BCE Inc, Canada's largest telecommunications company, reported an 8.7 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, mainly due to strong growth in its Bell Wireless unit.

BCE's net income attributable to shareholders rose to C$615 million ($561 million), or 79 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter, from C$566 million, or 73 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, earnings were 81 Canadian cents per share. Operating revenue rose about 4 percent to C$5.09 billion.

Analysts had on average expected earnings of 76 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$5.12 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Montreal-based BCE, which operates under the Bell brand, has been creeping up on market-leader Rogers Communications Inc in wireless while moving into a leading position in media with several large acquisitions and launching an updated internet-based TV product. ($1 = 1.0963 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Supriya Kurane and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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