FILE PHOTO: Rogers Communications logos are seen above a booth during the media day at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

(Reuters) – Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc on Wednesday pulled its 2020 forecast and reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit due to a drop in ad sales and weaker demand for its wireless services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Revenue from the telecom operator’s wireless unit, its largest business, slipped 2% to C$2.08 billion as subscriber activity slowed during the pandemic and roaming sales fell.

Rogers, which faces stiff competition from rivals BCE Corp and Telus Corp, generated average revenue per user of C$52.85 from its wireless services, compared with C$54.13, a year earlier.

Rogers said the suspension of major sports matches in March and lower ad sales led to a 12% fall in first-quarter revenue in its media segment, which includes television and radio broadcasting, specialty channels and digital media.

The telecom operator’s revenue for first quarter ended March 31 fell 5% to C$3.42 billion due to lower subscriber activity during the pandemic. (reut.rs/3529Dp1)

Analysts were expecting revenue of C$3.53 billion ($2.50 billion) in the quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to C$352 million, or 68 Canadian cents per share, from C$391 million, or 76 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Rogers earned C$0.71 per share, missing the average analyst average estimate of C$0.80.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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