Telus cuts 1,500 positions to lower expenses as it raises shareholder payments

Wireless provider Telus Corp. is planning to reduce its workforce by 1,500 positions as it boosts dividend payments to shareholders.

Wireless provider Telus Corp. is planning to reduce its workforce by 1,500 positions as it boosts dividend payments to shareholders.

The Vancouver-based company, which operates one of Canada’s biggest telecommunications networks, said Thursday that the layoffs will save as much as $125 million each year.

At the same time, Telus told shareholders it would raise their dividend payments by five per cent to 44 cents per share, starting in January, after hiking its dividend earlier this year.

The company provided few details about the downsizing, except to say that many would be voluntary departures and early retirements. Calls to a company spokesman were not immediately returned.

“These are very difficult decisions to make but a necessary element of aligning our organization with the growth, customer service and capital allocation activities we are implementing,” said Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle in a statement.

Entwistle returned to the leadership role at Telus after the sudden departure of president and CEO Joe Natale in August.

Telus said the decision was made after its board concluded the company’s CEO should reside in Western Canada, and that Natale wasn’t interested in moving.

Telus also reported its third-quarter financial results, which showed profits and revenue grew in line with analyst expectations.

Net income and adjusted net income both were up about 2.8 per cent, rising to $365 million and $398 million respectively.

Adjusted income increased about three per cent to 66 cents per share, which was better than estimates of 64 cents per share from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue grew 4.2 per cent from last year, rising to $3.15 billion from $3.03 billion.

“Our company continued to deliver solid financial and operational results in both our wireline and wireless businesses,” said Entwistle.

He also said Telus has just completed one of its biggest year’s in terms of capital projects, which he described as “generational investments” that include initiatives to improve processes and efficiency.

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