The performance was driven primarily by continued strong customer growth in cellular, Max™ Entertainment Services and Internet services.
“In 2010, SaskTel achieved excellent financial results in an industry that continues to see constant transformation in technologies and increasingly aggressive competition,” said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “SaskTel again demonstrated its commitment to Saskatchewan businesses and communities through its contribution of over $678 million to the Saskatchewan economy.”
“2010 will be best known as the year that SaskTel gathered all of its creative energies to bring an entirely new generation of wireless technology to the province of Saskatchewan,” said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO. “Looking forward, we are well positioned to maintain our financial strength by focusing on the explosion of wireless data and smart devices, multimedia applications, machine-to-machine communications and growth in Internet traffic.”
Financial and operating highlights:
• SaskTel 2010 Net Income - $155.2 million.
• SaskTel 2010 revenues - $1,112.4 million.
• Dividend of $139.7 million declared to Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) in 2010.
• Industry-leading debt ratio of 33.4%.
• Since 1987, we have invested over $3.5 billion in our Saskatchewan network. In 2010, we invested $240 million in our Saskatchewan network to build and launch our new 4G wireless network, provide faster high speed Internet service in many communities, deliver 100% high speed Internet coverage, enhance our Max Entertainment Service and grow and enhance our basic network.
• SaskTel demonstrated its commitment to the Saskatchewan businesses and communities through its contribution of $678 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 $408.5 million in 2010, an increase of 8.7% from 2009. Total wireless accesses increased to 568,904 - up 19,137 from 2009.
• Max Entertainment Services customers grew by 9.9% to 85,537 customers and Max revenues increased by $10.5 million from 2009.
• SaskTel now reaches 100% 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 230,996 in 2010, an increase of 5,871 over 2009.
Commitment to Innovation
Continued innovation will ensure SaskTel is financially healthy and well positioned to embrace the multitude of opportunities ahead. Some of SaskTel’s 2010 innovation stories include:
• The most important innovation of the year was the launch of SaskTel’s 4G wireless network. There is no way to undertake a project of this scale and complexity and get it from announcement to launch in little more than one year, without a lot of creative energetic people solving problems and finding better ways to get the work done. It was this innovative spirit by SaskTel’s employees every day that allowed us to deliver this important new technology to our customers.
• In building and deploying an entire new generation wireless network like 4G, one of the most important tasks was getting employees who deal with customers up to speed in time for launch date. SaskTel trained approximately 1,000 people in customer-facing units all over the company in sixteen weeks.
• In early 2010, Conexus Credit Union approached SaskTel looking for a way to connect their Regina Data Centres with a high bandwidth, scalable service that could accommodate significant increases in bandwidth. SaskTel designed a new service, called Optical Wavelength Connectivity Service, to meet Conexus’ requirements.
• SaskTel sponsors many cultural events around the province every year, but one in particular stood out in the summer of 2010 for its historic and cultural significance. July 125th Anniversary commemoration of the Metis resistance at Batoche placed the annual Back to Batoche Days onto the national stage. SaskTel played a part in this celebration by providing a corporate sponsorship, and also deployed some innovative technologies to enhance mobile services at the event site, helping organizers and visitors with their wireless communications.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
SaskTel’s core business – providing communications networks to the people of Saskatchewan – has direct economic, social and environmental benefits that ripple throughout the entire province making a positive and significant contribution to society.
2010 CSR highlights include:
• A new partnership between SaskTel, the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the Saskatchewan Abilities Council to create jobs for individuals with disabilities.
• SaskTel was among the representatives of both public and private sectors from across the province that signed Saskatchewan's first Health & Safety Leadership Charter.
• At the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association’s (CWTA) "25 Years of Connected to the Community" event, SaskTel paid tribute to the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan (PATHS), our partner in the Phones For a Fresh Start cell phone recycling program. Since the program's launch last year, more than 19,867 phones have been recycled by the program (12,198 phones in 2010).
• In 2010, SaskTel donated more than $2.3 million to over 900 non-profit and charitable organizations, community associations, venues, events and partnerships in over 200 communities throughout the province.
• In 2010, SaskTel signed a partnership to work with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to bring access to high speed Internet and cellular telephone service to 26 First Nations communities in Saskatchewan. Through this upgrade, residents will have enhanced access to health and emergency services, educational and business opportunities, and overall entertainment benefits enjoyed by others throughout the province.
• SaskTel received several awards in 2010, recognizing its Corporate Social Responsibility values and achievements.
o SaskTel named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2010 by MediaCorp Canada Inc.
o The SaskTel We See You program was awarded the 2010 Global Best award for Education in Meeting Global Challenges by the International Partnership Network (IPN).
o For the eleventh straight year, SaskTel was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and for the fourth straight year, one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers, by Mediacorp Canada Inc.
The full Corporate Social Responsibility Report is available online at sasktel.com/.
“As we set our sights on 2011 and beyond, SaskTel is well positioned to embrace the multitude of opportunities ahead,” added Styles.
SaskTel’s four strategic objectives looking forward – Customer, People, Operational Excellence and Financial – are positioned to address the critical issues we have identified in an effort to achieve long-term sustainability.
• Customer – SaskTel will differentiate on customer experience in order to sustain and expand our customer base.
• People – SaskTel will attract and retain the best people by engaging and developing our workforce.
• Operational Excellence – SaskTel will be innovative in our approach to people, partnerships and technology, in conjunction with our economic, environmental and social responsibility.
• Financial – SaskTel will sustain long-term value for all stakeholders by achieving positive financial results.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.1 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 568,000 wireless accesses, 528,000 wireline network accesses, 230,000 internet accesses and 85,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel 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 2010, SaskTel contributed over $678 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.