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Canadian telecom company BCE posts 39 pct drop in profit

Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 7:26 AM ET

Nov 7 (Reuters) - BCE Inc, Canada's biggest telecom company, posted a 35 percent slump in quarterly profit, hurt by costs related to its $3 billion acquisition of Astral Media earlier this year.

BCE's net earnings fell to C$343 million ($329 million), or 44 Canadian cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from C$527 million, or 68 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The Montreal-based parent of Bell Canada said it paid C$230 million to meet regulatory obligations related to the Astral deal.

BCE closed the deal to buy Astral, which owns radio stations, cable TV channels and a billboard network, in July.

Excluding one-time items, BCE earned 75 Canadian cents per share.

Operating revenue rose to C$4.52 billion from C$4.39 billion.

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