The performance was driven primarily by continued strong customer growth in cellular, Max™ Entertainment Services and internet services, partially offset by reductions in local access and long distance services.
“In 2009, SaskTel achieved very solid financial results while continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the people of Saskatchewan,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Telecommunications. “SaskTel’s primary strategy for growth has been serving Saskatchewan people first by focusing on growing its core business within the province and these financial results are evidence this strategy is working.”
“For the past century, SaskTel has been a leader by offering and maintaining some of the most innovative communications services in Canada for our customers,” said Robert Watson, SaskTel President and CEO. “In 2009, we invested $137 million in our Saskatchewan network to further expand our high speed internet and wireless coverage across the province, invested in a new Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS)/High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) wireless network and expanded the Next Generation Access Infrastructure Program to provide Max Entertainment Services to 14 more communities.”
Financial and operating highlights for SaskTel in 2009 include:
• SaskTel 2009 Net Income - $129.0 million
• SaskTel 2009 revenues - $1.15 billion, an increase of $13.7 million from 2008.
• Dividend of $103.2 million declared to Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) in 2009.
• Industry-leading debt ratio of 24.4%.
• Since 1987, we have invested approximately $3.5 billion in our Saskatchewan network. In 2009, we invested $137 million in our Saskatchewan network to further expand our high speed internet and wireless coverage across the province, invest in a new UMTS/HSPA wireless network, increase bandwidth and grow and enhance our basic network.
• SaskTel demonstrated its commitment to the Saskatchewan businesses and communities through its contribution of $651 million to the Saskatchewan economy, including spending with vendors for goods and services, salaries, grants in lieu of taxes, dealer commissions and community involvement.
• Wireless revenues increased significantly to $375.8 million in 2009, an increase of 6.5% from 2008. Total cellular accesses increased to 541,105, up 39,085 from 2008.
• Max Entertainment Services grew to 77,831 customers and Max revenues increased by $13.5 million from 2008.
• SaskTel now reaches over 99% of the Saskatchewan population with its High Speed Internet service and with the continued expansion to more Saskatchewan communities the number of internet accesses has grown to 225,125 in 2009, an increase of 9,063 over 2008.
• In 2009, SaskTel donated over $2.2 million to over 1,000 non-profit and charitable organizations, community associations, venues, events and partnerships in 215 communities throughout the province.
• Through SaskTel TelCare, the employees’ benevolent fund, $224,462 was donated, which is matched 50% by SaskTel for a total of $336,693 to more than 73 charitable organizations.
• The SaskTel Pioneers contributed 68,786 hours of volunteer time and over $202,000 to community projects. The Pioneers won 20 TelecomPioneers awards of excellence for volunteering in 2009.
• SaskTel was named one Canada’s Greenest Employers in 2009 and was the recipient of several Sask Waste Reduction Council awards.
• In 2009, we launched a new cell phone recycle program called Phones for a Fresh Start. Depending on their condition and age, the devices may be either refurbished or recycled to make many other products, helping to preserve the world around us. The proceeds of the SaskTel-contributed phones are then used to support a SaskTel community partnership with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS).
• 2009 marked the successful completion of the initial five-year Representative Workforce Strategy resulting in an increase of employment equity across nearly every job classification within SaskTel, including management and technical areas.
• For the tenth straight year, SaskTel is named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2010 by Mediacorp Canada, Inc.
• SaskTel was recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top 100 companies by Saskatchewan Business Magazine. SaskTel was ranked 10th.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.15 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 550,000 wireless accesses, 543,000 wireline network accesses, 225,000 internet accesses and 77,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel (sasktel.sk.ca) offers a wide range of communications products and services including competitive voice, data, internet, entertainment, national security, messaging, cellular, wireless data and directory services. In addition, SaskTel International offers software solutions and project consulting in countries around the world. In 2009, SaskTel contributed over $651 million to the Saskatchewan economy through dollars spent with Saskatchewan-based suppliers and sponsorships to non-profit organizations. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,800 employees.