BCE reports 2012 Q4 and full-year results

                  BCE reports 2012 Q4 and full-year results

PR Newswire

MONTREAL, Feb. 7, 2013

2013 financial outlook announced, including dividend increase to $2.33 per

  *BCE Q4 net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $708 million,
    up 45.7%, or $0.91 per share; Adjusted net earnings per share^(1) of
    $0.65, up 4.8%
  *Bell EBITDA^(2) up 2.2% in Q4 on robust 13.8% growth at Bell Wireless and
    32.3% growth at Bell Media
  *Q4 Wireless postpaid net additions of 143,834, up 9%; Wireless EBITDA
    growth of 13.8% fuelled by 4.1% higher wireless ARPU and disciplined cost
  *Bell Fibe TV net additions of 48,234 in Q4 as service footprint expands to
    3.3 million households; 3% year-over-year improvement in residential local
    access line losses
  *All 2012 financial guidance met - EBITDA growth of 4.4% exceeds full-year
    target on strong contributions from Bell Wireless and Bell Media
  *Strong 7% growth in free cash flow^(3) in 2012 to $2,420 million, before a
    $750 million voluntary pension plan contribution
  *2013 outlook builds on positive operating momentum and focused execution
    of Bell Strategic Imperatives, supporting dividend growth and accelerated
    capital investment

MONTREAL, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's
largest communications company, today reported BCE and Bell results for the
fourth quarter (Q4) of 2012 and announced its financial guidance for 2013, as
well as a $0.06 per share increase in its annual common share dividend to

Today's dividend announcement represents BCE's ninth increase to the annual
common share dividend, representing a 60% overall increase since the fourth
quarter of 2008. The BCE annual common share dividend will increase from $2.27
to $2.33 per share effective with BCE's Q1 2013 dividend, payable on April 15,
2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2013.
Together with the earlier $0.10 per share increase announced on August 8,
2012, BCE's annual common share dividend increase for 2013 is up 16 cents or
7.4%. The higher dividend for 2013 is supported by substantial free cash flow
generation and our positive business outlook for 2013.

BCE reported Q4 2012 net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $708
million, or $0.91 per share, a 45.7% increase from $486 million, or $0.62 per
share, in Q4 2011. Adjusted net earnings ^  attributable to common
shareholders were $506 million, an increase of 4.5% compared to Q4 2011, while
Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 4.8% to $0.65 from $0.62 in Q4
2011. The year-over-year increase in Adjusted EPS was mainly due to higher
EBITDA, which exceeded plan in the quarter.

BCE's cash flows from operating activities were $863 million in Q4, up 3.0%
compared to $838 million last year, due to higher net earnings. Free cash flow
this quarter, before a $750 million voluntary pension plan contribution, was
$605 million, up 7.3% from $564 million in Q4 2011 on higher EBITDA year over

($ millions except per share   Q4 2012 Q4 2011 % change   2012   2011 % change
amounts) (unaudited)
Bell (i)                                                                
Operating Revenues               4,577   4,576        - 17,642 17,133     3.0%
EBITDA                           1,582   1,548     2.2%  6,591  6,312     4.4%
Operating Revenues               5,161   5,166   (0.1%) 19,975 19,497     2.5%
EBITDA                           1,896   1,869     1.4%  7,883  7,629     3.3%
Net Earnings Attributable to       708     486    45.7%  2,624  2,221    18.1%
Common Shareholders
EPS                               0.91    0.62    46.8%   3.39   2.88    17.7%
Adjusted EPS                      0.65    0.62     4.8%   3.18   3.13     1.6%
Cash flows from operating          863     838     3.0%  5,552  4,869    14.0%
Free Cash Flow (ii)                605     564     7.3%  2,420  2,261     7.0%

(i)  Bell includes the Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media segments.
(ii) Excluding $750 million of voluntary pension contribution for 2012 and

Bell operating revenues were $4,577 million in Q4 2012, compared to $4,576
million in Q4 2011, as higher year-over-year revenues driven by the steadily
growing contribution of Bell's growth services, including Wireless, TV,
Internet and Media, were offset by the continued decline in Bell Wireline's
traditional voice and data services.

Bell EBITDA was $1,582 million in Q4, up 2.2%, reflecting strong double-digit
EBITDA growth of 13.8% at Bell Wireless and 32.3% at Bell Media. Bell
Wireline's EBITDA decline of 6.6% in the quarter benefitted from a $35 million
year-over-year reduction in Wireline operating costs, which contributed to a
0.8 percentage-point improvement in Bell's consolidated EBITDA margin of
34.6%. For the full 2012 year, Bell operating revenues and Bell EBITDA were up
3.0% and 4.4%, respectively, at $17,642 million and $6,591 million. For 2011,
Bell operating revenues and EBITDA reflect 9 months of Bell Media revenues and
EBITDA, as Bell completed its acquisition of CTV and created Bell Media on
April 1, 2011.

Bell invested $779 million in new capital this quarter, bringing total capital
expenditures to $2,923 million in 2012, up 8.9% from the previous year. These
investments support the continued deployment of broadband fibre to homes,
neighbourhoods and businesses in Québec and Ontario and expansion of the Fibe
TV service footprint, enhancement of customer service systems, the ongoing
rollout of the 4G LTE mobile network in markets across Canada, and the
addition of new Bell and The Source stores across Canada.

"Bell's Q4 results capped off a solid year of strong operating performance led
by Bell Wireless, Bell Media, and the accelerating success of Bell Fibe TV as
we continued to expand our Fibe footprint in Montréal and Toronto and launched
the country's largest fibre to the home rollout in Québec City," said George
Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE Inc. "Bell's investment in Canada's
best broadband networks, products and content is delivering new choices for
consumers and enhanced competition in TV, wireless and media. Bell has
tremendous momentum in the marketplace, propelled by the fast expansion of
Fibe TV, strong smartphone growth, and the unmatched innovation and investment
in Canadian news, sports and entertainment content by Bell Media."

"Growth services such as Fibe, 4G LTE, and next-generation business services
like cloud computing increasingly dominate our operating mix. At the same
time, the Bell team is delivering significant improvements in customer service
while reducing our operating costs. The strong EBITDA, cash flow and net
earnings that result from the focused execution of our strategy enable us to
continue to deliver on our commitment to return value to our shareholders,"
said Mr. Cope.

Bell is dedicated to achieving a clear goal - to be recognized by customers as
Canada's leading communications company - through the execution of 6 Strategic
Imperatives: Invest in Broadband Networks and Services, Accelerate Wireless,
Leverage Wireline Momentum, Expand Media Leadership, Improve Customer Service,
and Achieve a Competitive Cost Structure.

"We enjoyed a successful 2012, surpassing our full-year guidance target for
EBITDA which fuelled substantial earnings and strong free cash flow growth,"
said Siim Vanaselja, Chief Financial Officer for Bell and BCE. "Bell's
operating momentum and financial foundation going into 2013 are strong. Our
2013 financial targets are underpinned by continued robust growth across
Bell's growth businesses and improving wireline performance. This is expected
to drive solid growth in underlying earnings and a 5% or better year-over-year
increase in free cash flow. Our liquidity position and attractive credit
profile fully supports our planned accelerated investment in wireline and
wireless broadband network platforms and higher dividend for 2013."


Bell Wireless
Bell Wireless operating revenues increased 6.8% to $1,458 million in Q4 2012.
Service revenue grew 7.4% to $1,312 million on strong postpaid subscriber
growth and higher blended ARPU, fuelled by mobile data revenue growth of 28%
this quarter. Despite average handset prices that were generally lower because
of competitive holiday pricing, product revenues increased 2.3% to $132
million, reflecting higher sales of more expensive smartphones. Bell Wireless
EBITDA increased 13.8% to $479 million this quarter, delivering a 2
percentage-point expansion in EBITDA service margin to 36.5%. This was
achieved even with a $26 million year-over-year increase in combined
subscriber acquisition costs and retention spending, which contributed to
operating cost growth of 3.7% in the quarter.

For the full year, Bell Wireless operating revenues increased 6.5% to $5,573
million with service revenues growing 6.5% to $5,081 million and product
revenues up 3.8% to $438 million. EBITDA grew 15.7% to $2,110 million as
service margin increased 3.3 percentage points to 41.5%, reflecting the
significant service revenue flow-through of superior postpaid subscriber gains
achieved throughout the year and well-controlled operating costs that
increased 1.6%, in aggregate, over the previous year.

  *Postpaid net additions in Q4 increased to 143,834, up 9.0% compared to
    131,986 last year. Smartphone users represented 64% of total postpaid
    subscribers at the end of 2012, compared to 48% one year earlier.

  *Postpaid gross activations were 394,706 in Q4, up 1.4% compared to 389,317
    last year, led by strong sales of Apple iPhones and leading Android
    devices during the holiday period. Activations in western Canada continued
    to increase as Bell added more points of distribution.

  *Prepaid net losses decreased to 38,829 in Q4, from 74,100 last year.
    Prepaid gross activations decreased 17.6% to 101,024, due to Bell's
    continued focus on acquiring postpaid customers and aggressive acquisition
    offers from competitors targeted at lower-ARPU subscribers.

  *With postpaid additions of 143,834 and prepaid losses of 38,829, the Bell
    Wireless client base reached 7,681,032 at the end of the quarter, an
    increase of 3.4% over last year.

  *Postpaid customer churn improved to 1.3% from 1.5% in Q4 2011, reflecting
    the benefits of investment in customer service and retention. Prepaid
    churn improved to 3.5% this quarter from 4.2% in Q4 2011, due to fewer
    customer deactivations year over year.

  *Blended ARPU increased 4.1% in the quarter to $56.72, driven mainly by a
    greater number of postpaid customers in our subscriber base, increased
    postpaid market share in the higher-ARPU western Canada market, and more
    smartphone customers taking advantage of mobile data services. Similarly,
    for full-year 2012, blended ARPU increased 4.2% to $55.82.

  *Cost of acquisition increased 6.7% this quarter to $480 per gross
    activation, reflecting a greater number of smartphone activations and
    higher handset subsidies consistent with the wider availability of the
    Apple iPhone 5 and competitive holiday pricing.

  *Retention spending in the quarter increased to 12% of wireless service
    revenues, up from 11.4% in Q4 2011, as we matched competitors' aggressive
    handset offers.

  *Bell continues to offer customers access to Canada's largest 4G LTE
    network, increasing population coverage by over 22% and adding 25 new
    markets in Q4, resulting in access for approximately 4 million additional
    Canadians. 4G LTE from Bell now reaches more than 67% of the Canadian
    population, complementing Bell's 4G HSPA+ and enhanced 4G HSPA+ DC (Dual
    Cell) networks which offer coast-to-coast coverage to more than 97% and
    more than 83% of the Canadian population respectively.

Bell Wireline
The pace of wireline revenue erosion in Q4 2012 improved over the previous
quarter as a result of increased TV revenues, driven by fast subscriber growth
in Fibe TV and an improved local and access revenue trajectory as residential
NAS losses continued to decrease year over year. Bell Wireline operating
revenues decreased 3.7% to $2,608 million this quarter, as competitive and
wireless substitution pressures continued to impact traditional voice
services. Reduced spending by business customers on wireline data products and
information and communications technology (ICT) services, reflecting continued
slow economic growth, as well as the re-pricing of connectivity services also
contributed to the year-over-year decline in Bell Wireline revenue this

Although Bell Wireline EBITDA decreased 6.6% this quarter to $931 million,
margins were in line with expectations at 35.7%, reflecting a $35 million, or
2.0%, reduction in operating costs over last year from ongoing spending
controls and productivity gains achieved in our call centres and field service
operations. For the full 2012 year, wireline operating revenues decreased 3.8%
to $10,220 million, while wireline EBITDA was down 5.7% to $3,920 million.
Wireline EBITDA margin has held relatively stable at 38.4%, down 0.7
percentage points year over year, the result of a $166 million, or 2.6%,
improvement in operating costs that effectively absorbed expenses related to
Fibe TV growth and softer business markets results.

  *Bell Fibe TV added 48,234 net new customers compared to 27,967 in the
    fourth quarter of 2011. The Bell Fibe TV footprint expanded by 500,000
    households in Q4 to reach 3.3 million at the end of 2012. Satellite TV net
    additions were negative in the quarter, reflecting aggressive customer
    conversion offers from cable competitors, the rollout of IPTV by competing
    service providers, and Bell customer migrations to Fibe TV. Consequently,
    total TV net additions were 19,218, compared to 27,702 in Q4 2011.

  *The Bell TV subscriber base totalled 2,155,983 at the end of Q4, a
    year-over-year increase of 2.5%.

  *Bell added 7,143 new net high-speed Internet customers in Q4, compared to
    1,091 customers in Q4 2011. The improvement reflects the pull-through
    effect of Fibe TV service bundles, enhanced promotional offers, and
    continued broadband fibre network expansion, all of which contributed to
    lower residential and business customer churn year over year. Bell had
    2,115,243 high-speed Internet customers at the end of 2012, a 0.1%
    year-over-year increase.

  *Wireline data revenue was $1,448 million in the quarter, compared to
    $1,450 million in Q4 2011, as higher TV revenue driven by strong Fibe TV
    subscriber growth was offset by lower data product and ICT sales.

  *Residential NAS net losses in Q4 2012 decreased to 87,029, a 3.0%
    improvement over the previous year, as Bell continued to reduce customer
    turnover as the Fibe TV service area expands. Wireless substitution, which
    continued to steadily increase, moderated the overall decrease in
    residential NAS. Business access losses increased to 36,641 from 13,947 in
    Q4 2011, reflecting higher wholesale customer deactivations and a
    continued lack of new business growth.

  *Local and access revenues declined 7.6% to $635 million. Total NAS at the
    end of the quarter was 5,644,939, a 7.5% decline year over year,
    attributable to increased competition and a reduction in access lines and
    digital circuits as customers continue to adopt wireless and IP-based

  *Long distance revenues declined 12.8% to $191 million. The year-over-year
    decline reflected fewer minutes of use by residential and business
    customers resulting from NAS line losses and technology substitution,
    ongoing rate pressures, and decreased sales of global long distance

  *Equipment and other revenue decreased 6.3% to $255 million due mainly to
    lower year-over-year legacy wireline telecommunications equipment sales
    and promotional offers on TV set-top boxes.

Bell Media
Bell Media reported operating revenue of $591 million in Q4 2012, up 2.2% from
last year. The increase was due to higher subscriber fee revenue, which grew
approximately 7% year over year, driven by market-based rates charged to
broadcast distributors through renegotiated agreements for certain Bell Media
specialty TV services. Advertising revenue decreased slightly from last year,
down approximately 1%, as the impact of the NHL Lockout across Bell Media's
specialty sports properties was largely offset by stronger advertising demand
and shifting demand to its conventional and non-sports specialty TV channels.

Bell Media's EBITDA was up 32.3% in Q4 2012 to $172 million, reflecting the
flow-through of higher subscriber fee revenue and 6.5% lower operating costs
due mainly to lower content and production costs as a result of the NHL
lockout. For the full 2012 year, operating revenue and EBITDA were up 41.6%
and 68.0%, respectively, to $2,183 million and $561 million.

  *CTV completed the fall season with 13 of the Top 20 programs, up 2 from
    the same period last year, and with 19% more viewers in primetime than
    Canada's other 2 leading private networks combined.

  *TSN and RDS drew 5.8 million viewers for The Grey Cup, up 27% from the
    prior year, with the half-time show attracting an average audience of 6.4
    million viewers.

  *RDS announced a new multiplatform docu-reality series, 24CH, offering Habs
    fans  unprecedented access to their team on television, Internet,
    superphones and tablets, in time for the first game of the season.

  *CTV's non-sports specialty services continued to post strong audience
    growth with 8 of the Top 20 TV programs and all 5 of the Top 5 fall
    series, led by double-digit increases for The Comedy Network and Bravo!

  *Bell Media Radio launched its new web platform. There are 13 stations
    currently on the new technology, including Toronto's CHUMFM.com, the
    largest radio website.

  *The Discovery Channel app reached 200,000 downloads. Social media
    campaigns for High Tech Toys Week and End of the World specials increased
    Daily Planet Facebook likes by 50%, while retweets increased 9-fold.

  *Bell Media rebranded its Sympatico portal in English Canada as TheLoop.ca,
    a new brand destination that enhances and strengthens the most successful
    content on Sympatico with more original video hosted by distinctive Bell
    Media personalities.

  *Cirque du Soleil and Bell Media announced the closing of the transaction
    to create Cirque du Soleil Média, a new joint venture to develop
    Québec-based media content for television, film, digital, and gaming

Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant's revenues decreased 1.0% to $694 million in Q4 2012, due to lower
local and access, and long distance revenues, partly offset by higher data and
wireless revenues. Bell Aliant's EBITDA decreased 2.2% to $314 million this
quarter, due to lower revenues as operating costs were unchanged year over
year. Similarly, for the full 2012 year, Bell Aliant revenues and EBITDA
declined 0.5% and 1.9%, respectively, to $2,761 million and $1,292 million.


BCE's operating revenues were $5,161 million in Q4 2012, compared to $5,166
million in Q4 2011, reflecting stable year-over-year revenues at Bell and
lower revenues at Bell Aliant. For the full 2012 year, revenues were up 2.5%
at $19,975 million, due to higher revenues at Bell driven by the strong
contribution of Bell Wireless and Bell Media.

BCE's EBITDA increased 1.4% to $1,896 million in Q4 2012 and 3.3% to $7,883
million for the full year as a result of 4.4% EBITDA growth at Bell, moderated
by a year-over-year decrease at Bell Aliant.

BCE's cash flows from operating activities were $863 million in Q4, up 3.0%
compared to $838 million last year, due to higher net earnings. Free cash flow
this quarter, before and after the $750 million voluntary pension plan
contribution, was $605 million and negative $145 million, respectively,
compared to $564 million and negative $186 million, respectively, in the
previous year. The year-over-year improvement was due primarily to higher
EBITDA. For the full 2012 year, BCE's cash flows from operating activities
were up 14.0% to $5,552 million. Free cash flow, before and after a voluntary
pension contribution, was $2,420 million and $1,670 million compared to $2,261
million and $1,511 million in 2011, respectively.

BCE's net earnings attributable to common shareholders were $708 million, or
$0.91 per share, in Q4 compared to $486 million, or $0.62 per share, in the
same quarter last year. The year-over-year increase in earnings was due
primarily to higher EBITDA and a $248 million non-cash gain related to our
Inukshuk investment. Full-year net earnings attributable to common
shareholders were $2,624 million or $3.39 per share, compared to
$2,221million or $2.88 per share in 2011.

BCE's Adjusted EPS was $0.65 per common share in the quarter, compared to
$0.62 last year. This 4.8% increase was due to higher EBITDA. For the full
2012 year, BCE's Adjusted EPS was $3.18 per share, $0.05 higher than 2011.

On November 19, 2012, following the CRTC's denial of their original
application, Bell and Astral amended the terms of their proposed transaction
and submitted a new application to the CRTC for approval of Bell's proposed
acquisition of Astral. The new proposal seeks to address the CRTC's concerns,
including complying with the relevant viewership thresholds and revising the
package of tangible benefits to support the creation of exceptional Canadian
TV and radio content, promote homegrown talent in a multi-platform universe,
and foster consumer engagement in the broadcasting system. As a result of the
amendments made to the terms of the original Arrangement Agreement between
Astral and Bell, the outside date for the closing of the transaction has been
extended to June 1, 2013 with Astral and Bell each having a further right to
postpone it to July 31, 2013, if required, to obtain necessary regulatory
approvals. Details of the new Astral-Bell proposal will be made available by
the CRTC when it launches its public consultation on the application. The
transaction remains subject to CRTC and Competition Bureau approval, other
closing conditions and termination rights. A break-up fee of $150 million is
payable by BCE to Astral should the transaction not close before the outside
date for regulatory reasons. On February 1, 2013, Astral paid a cash dividend
of $0.50 per share on its class A non-voting shares and class B subordinate
voting shares. Learn more about Astral-Bell at CanadiansDeserveMore.ca.

The 2013 Bell Let's Talk campaign in support of Canadian mental health
highlights the impact of mental illness on our workplaces and economy. On the
third annual Bell Let's Talk Day on February 12, national spokesperson Clara
Hughes will again invite to Canadians to join the conversation about mental
health to help reduce the stigma around mental illness. On February 12, Bell
will donate 5¢ more to Canadian mental health initiatives for every text and
long distance call by Bell and Bell Aliant customers, tweets using
#BellLetsTalk, and Facebook shares of the Bell Let's Talk image.

Bell also announced its support of the new national Psychological Health and
Safety in the Workplace standard, developed by CSA Group and Bureau de
normalisation du Québec in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of
Canada. Bell, the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
and the federal government funded the development of the voluntary standard.
The first of its kind in the world, the standard offers guidance to Canadian
businesses and other organizations in promoting mental health and addressing
mental illness in the workplace. With 500,000 Canadians missing work each day
because of a mental illness, the impact in lost labour-market participation
was an estimated $20.7 billion in 2012 alone.


Bell is proud to be recognized as one of Montréal's Top Employers for 2013 in
the annual competition organized by Mediacorp Canada. A Montréal-based company
since its founding in 1880, Bell was recognized for its significant investment
in training and professional development, leading parental support programs,
wide-ranging career possibilities, and a share purchase plan that enables all
team members to share in the company's success. Bell is the largest
communications company in Québec, with more than 17,000 employees and more
than 13,000 retirees, and plays a crucial role in the technological, economic
and social prosperity of Québec.

Our 2013 financial guidance builds on the positive operating momentum we
delivered in 2012, reflecting continued strong progress in the execution of
Bell's Strategic Imperatives and the ongoing transformation of its operating
mix away from legacy wireline voice services.

The financial guidance targets for revenue growth, EBITDA growth, Adjusted
EPS, free cash flow growth and capital intensity in 2013 do not reflect the
financial impact from the pending acquisition of Astral. We anticipate
updating our 2013 financial guidance upon closing of the Astral acquisition
targeted for the second quarter of 2013.

BCE's 2012 results and financial guidance targets for 2013 are as follows:

                                            2012 Results      2013 Guidance
Bell (i)                                                            
Revenue Growth                                   3.0%             0% - 2%
EBITDA Growth                                    4.4%             1% - 3%
Capital Intensity                                16.6%           16% - 17%
Adjusted EPS (ii)                                $3.18             n.a.
- As reported                                                 $2.97 - $3.03
- Restated for new pension accounting            $2.96       
Free Cash Flow growth (iii)                      7.0%             5% - 9%
Annual common dividend per share                 $2.27             $2.33
Dividend payout policy                         65% - 75%        65% to 75%
                                           of free cash flow of free cash flow

(i)   Bell's 2013 financial guidance for revenue, EBITDA and capital intensity
      is exclusive ofBell Aliant.
(ii)  For 2013, we define Adjusted net earnings as net earnings attributable
      to common shareholders before severance, acquisition and other costs,
      net (gains) losses on investments and costs to retire debt early. We
      define Adjusted EPS as Adjusted net earnings per BCE Inc. common share.
(iii) For 2013, we define free cash flow as cash flows from operating
      activities excluding acquisition costs paid and voluntary pension
      funding, plus dividends/distributions received from Bell Aliant, less
      capital expenditures, preferred share dividends, dividends/distributions
      paid by subsidiaries to non-controlling interest, and Bell Aliant free
      cash flow.

Our financial reporting in 2013 will reflect the introduction of the new
accounting standard for defined benefit pension plan expense that requires the
expected accounting rate of return on pension assets to be reduced to the
accounting pension discount rate. The non-cash impact on 2012 Adjusted EPS,
which will be restated as a result of this new pension accounting standard is
$0.22 per share, resulting in a decrease to reported Adjusted EPS from $3.18
per share to $2.96 per share. In 2013, Adjusted EPS will be impacted
negatively by a further $0.06 per share, reflecting a lower discount rate at
the end of 2012 compared to the end of the previous year. Additionally, due to
the large non-cash impact on Adjusted EPS, BCE will report its dividend payout
ratio in 2013 on the basis of free cash flow as it is better aligned with the
payment of cash dividends.

BCE's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.5825 per common
share, payable on April 15, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of
business on March 15, 2013.

BCE's 2013 Investor Conference being held today at the Royal York Hotel in
Toronto is being webcast live today, February 7, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. ET on the
BCE website at:
This webcast will also be available for replay on the BCE website later in the

The information contained in this news release is unaudited.

(1) The terms Adjusted net earnings and Adjusted EPS do not have any
    standardized meaning under IFRS. They are therefore unlikely to be
    comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. For 2012, we
    define Adjusted net earnings as net earnings attributable to common
    shareholders before severance, acquisition and other costs, and net
    (gains) losses on investments. We define Adjusted EPS as Adjusted net
    earnings per BCE Inc. common share. We use Adjusted net earnings and
    Adjusted EPS, among other measures, to assess the performance of our
    businesses without the effects of severance, acquisition and other costs,
    and net (gains) losses on investments, net of tax and non-controlling
    interest. We exclude these items because they affect the comparability of
    our financial results and could potentially distort the analysis of trends
    in business performance. Excluding these items does not imply they are
    non-recurring. The most comparable IFRS financial measures are net
    earnings attributable to common shareholders and earnings per share. The
    following table is a reconciliation of net earnings attributable to common
    shareholders and earnings per share to Adjusted net earnings on a
    consolidated basis and per BCE Inc. common share (Adjusted EPS),

($ millions except per share amounts)

                       Q4 2012      Q4 2011             2012             2011
               Total Per share Total    Per   Total      Per   Total      Per
                                       share            share            share
Net earnings    [708]    [0.91] [486] [0.62] [2,624]   [3.39] [2,221]   [2.88]
to common
Severance,       [46]    [0.06] [(2)]    [-]    [94]   [0.12]   [282]   [0.37]
and other
Net gains on  [(248)]  [(0.32)]   [-]    [-] [(256)] [(0.33)]  [(89)] [(0.12)]
Adjusted net    [506]    [0.65] [484] [0.62] [2,462]   [3.18] [2,414]   [3.13]

(2) The term EBITDA does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. It is
    therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other
    companies. We define EBITDA as operating revenues less operating costs, as
    shown in BCE's consolidated income statements. We use EBITDA to evaluate
    the performance of our businesses as it reflects their ongoing
    profitability. We believe that certain investors and analysts use EBITDA
    to measure a company's ability to service debt and to meet other payment
    obligations or as a common measurement to value companies in the
    telecommunications industry. EBITDA also is one component in the
    determination of short-term incentive compensation for all management
    employees. EBITDA has no directly comparable IFRS financial measure.
    Alternatively, the following table provides a reconciliation of BCE net
    earnings to EBITDA.

($ millions)

December 31                                 Q4 2012    Q4 2011    2012    2011
Net earnings                                 809     573   3,053   2,574
Severance, acquisition and other costs      70   (1)     133     409
Depreciation                                692    661   2,674   2,538
Amortization                                175    181     714     723
Finance costs                               223    218     865     853
   Interest expense                        239    245     958     973
   Interest on employee benefits         (267)  (260) (1,069) (1,032)
Expected return on pension plan assets    (242)  5   (270)   (129)
Other income                               197   247     825     720
Income taxes                                                          
EBITDA                                     1,896   1,869   7,883   7,629

(3) The term free cash flow does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS.
    Therefore it is unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by
    other companies. For 2012, we define free cash flow as cash flows from
    operating activities, excluding acquisition costs paid, plus
    dividends/distributions received from Bell Aliant, less capital
    expenditures, preferred share dividends, dividends/distributions paid by
    subsidiaries to non-controlling interest and Bell Aliant free cash flow.
    We consider free cash flow to be an important indicator of the financial
    strength and performance of our business because it shows how much cash is
    available to repay debt and reinvest in our company. We present free cash
    flow consistently from period to period, which allows us to compare our
    financial performance on a consistent basis. We believe that certain
    investors and analysts use free cash flow to value a business and its
    underlying assets. The most comparable IFRS financial measure is cash from
    operating activities. The following table is a reconciliation of cash
    flows from operating activities to free cash flow on a consolidated basis.

($ millions)

                                              Q42012 Q4 2011    2012    2011
Cash flows from operating activities               863     838   5,552   4,869
Bell Aliant dividends / distributions to BCE        48      48     191     214
Capital expenditures                             (914) (1,008) (3,515) (3,256)
Dividends paid on preferred shares                (39)    (31)   (133)   (118)
Dividends paid by subsidiaries to                 (85)    (72)   (340)   (315)
non-controlling interest
Acquisition costs paid                               5      28     101      70
Bell Aliant free cash flow                        (23)      11   (186)      47
Free cash flow                                   (145)   (186)   1,670   1,511

Certain statements made in this news release, including, but not limited to,
statements relating to our 2013 financial guidance (including revenues,
EBITDA, Capital Intensity, Adjusted EPS and Free Cash Flow), our business
outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities, BCE's 2013 annualized
common share dividend and common share dividend policy, the expected timing
and completion of BCE's proposed acquisition of Astral, our 4G LTE wireless,
IPTV network and broadband fibre deployment plans and other statements that
are not historical facts, are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are
typically identified by the words "assumption", "goal", "guidance",
"objective", "outlook", "project", "strategy", "target" and other similar
expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "aim", "anticipate",
"believe", "could", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "seek", "should",
"strive" and "will". All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to
the 'safe harbour' provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of
the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent
risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and
specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events
could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such
forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any
forward-looking statement will materialize and you are cautioned not to place
undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking
statements contained in this news release describe our expectations as of
February 7, 2013 and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date.
Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in
this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise. Except as otherwise indicated by BCE, forward-looking statements do
not reflect the potential impact of any non-recurring or other special items
or of any dispositions, monetizations, mergers, acquisitions, other business
combinations or other transactions that may be announced or that may occur
after February 7, 2013. The financial impact of these transactions and
non-recurring and other special items can be complex and depends on the facts
particular to each of them. We therefore cannot describe the expected impact
in a meaningful way or in the same way we present known risks affecting our
business. Forward-looking statements are presented for the purpose of
assisting investors and others in understanding certain key elements of our
expected 2013 financial results, as well as our objectives, strategic
priorities and business outlook for 2013, and in obtaining a better
understanding of our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned
that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

Material Assumptions
A number of economic, market, operational and financial assumptions were made
by BCE in preparing its forward-looking statements for 2013 contained in this
news release, including, but not limited to:

Canadian Economic and Market Assumptions

  *Growth in the Canadian economy of 2.0% in 2013, compared to estimated
    growth of 1.9% in 2012, based on the Bank of Canada's most recent
  *a slow pace of employment growth and new business formation affecting
    overall business customer demand;
  *a sustained level of wireline and wireless competition in both consumer
    and business markets;
  *higher wireline replacement, due primarily to increasing wireless and
    Internet-based technological substitution;
  *increasing wireless industry penetration driven, in particular, by the
    accelerated adoption of smartphones, tablets and data applications, the
    expansion of LTE service in most urban and sub-urban markets, the
    proliferation of 4G devices, as well as population growth; and
  *a stable advertising market for Bell Media.

Operational Assumptions
Our forward-looking statements for 2013 are also based on certain internal
operational assumptions concerning Bell (excluding Bell Aliant), including,
but not limited to:

  *a growing number of network access service (NAS) line losses from
    increasing wireless and Internet-based technological substitution;
  *improving year-over-year residential NAS line losses with targeted service
    bundle offers led by Bell Fibe TV;
  *continued large business customer migration to IP based systems, increased
    competitive intensity in mass and mid-size business markets and ongoing
    competitive re-price pressures in our business and wholesale markets;
  *ARPU growth maintained across all residential products and increasing
    penetration of three-product households driven by Bell Fibe TV growth;
  *ongoing aggressive competitive pricing on bundle offers with a focus on
    promotional discounts and customer retention credits;
  *Bell Mobility to maintain its market share of the incumbent wireless
    postpaid market;
  *relatively stable year-over-year rate of investment in subscriber cost of
    acquisition per gross activation and retention spending as a percentage of
    wireless service revenue to drive optimal postpaid customer and device
  *increased blended wireless ARPU driven by data usage and roaming growth
    attributable to a higher mix of smartphones and higher-value postpaid
    customers as well as increased distribution in western Canada, offset
    partly by voice ARPU erosion due to pricing and data substitution;
  *the maintenance of relatively stable EBITDA margins;
  *continued execution on operating cost reductions and labour efficiency
    gains across the Bell organization to offset costs related to growth in
    our Fibe TV subscriber activations, higher wireless customer acquisition
    and retention spending, and ongoing wireline voice erosion;
  *increasing EBITDA contribution from wireless with a lesser year-over-year
    decline in wireline EBITDA;
  *a gradual improvement in the performance of our Business Markets unit as
    the economy grows and employment levels rise;
  *Bell Media's ability to maintain solid TV ratings, implement further
    market-based specialty TV rate increases and control programming costs;
  *increased investment in broadband infrastructure and fibre expansion and
    upgrades to support Bell Fibe TV and our Internet services;
  *Bell Fibe TV service footprint extended to approximately 4.3 million
    households by the end of 2013; and
  *Bell Fibe TV contributing to stronger overall TV subscriber growth,
    Internet attach rates and triple-play household share.

Financial Assumptions
Our forward-looking statements for 2013 are also based on certain financial
assumptions for 2013 concerning Bell (excluding Bell Aliant), including, but
not limited to:

  *Bell's total employee benefit plans cost to be approximately $340 
    million, based on an estimated accounting discount rate of 4.4% and an
    expected return on plan assets of 4.4%, comprised of an estimated above
    EBITDA employee benefit plans service cost of approximately $220  million
    and an estimated below EBITDA net employee benefit plans financing cost of
    approximately $120 million;
  *total pension plan cash funding to be approximately $350 million;
  *cash taxes to be approximately $300 million, and;
  *net interest expense and payments to be approximately $700 million.

Our forward-looking statements for 2013 are also based on certain financial
assumptions for 2013 concerning BCE, including, but not limited to:

  *BCE's total employee benefit plans cost to be approximately $420 million,
    including approximately $80 million for Bell Aliant, comprised of an
    estimated above EBITDA employee benefit plans service cost of
    approximately $280  million and an estimated below EBITDA net employee
    benefit plans financing cost of approximately $140  million;
  *depreciation and amortization expense approximately $50 million higher
    compared to 2012;
  *net interest expense of approximately $875 million;
  *tax adjustments (per share) of approximately $0.07;
  *an effective tax rate of approximately 26%;
  *non-controlling interest similar to 2012; and
  *an annual common share dividend of $2.33  per share.

The foregoing assumptions, although considered reasonable by BCE on February
7, 2013, may prove to be inaccurate. Accordingly, our actual results could
differ materially from our expectations as set forth in this news release.

Material Risks
Important risk factors that could cause our assumptions and estimates to be
inaccurate and actual results or events to differ materially from those
expressed in or implied by our forward-looking statements, including our 2013
financial guidance, are listed below. The realization of our forward-looking
statements, including our ability to meet our 2013 financial guidance,
essentially depends on our business performance which, in turn, is subject to
many risks. Accordingly, readers are cautioned that any of the following risks
could have a material adverse effect on our forward-looking statements. These
risks include, but are not limited to:

  *the intensity of competitive activity, including the increase in wireless
    competitive activity resulting from new wireless entrants and their
    ability to launch or expand services, and the resulting impact on our
    ability to retain existing customers and attract new ones, as well as on
    our pricing strategies, ARPU and financial results;
  *the level of technological substitution contributing to reduced
    utilization of traditional wireline voice services and the increasing
    number of households that use only wireless telephone services;
  *the increased adoption by customers of alternative TV services;
  *variability in subscriber acquisition and retention costs based on
    subscriber acquisitions, retention volumes, smartphone sales and subsidy
  *regulatory initiatives or proceedings, litigation, changes in laws or
    regulations and tax matters;
  *our failure to maintain network operating performance including as a
    result of the significant increase in broadband demand and in the volume
    of wireless data driven traffic;
  *events affecting the functionality of, and our ability to protect,
    maintain and replace, our networks, equipment, facilities and other
  *our ability to maintain customer service and our networks operational in
    the event of the occurrence of environmental disasters or epidemics,
    pandemics and other health risks;
  *our ability to anticipate and respond to technological change, upgrade our
    networks and rapidly offer new products and services;
  *our failure to implement, on a timely basis, or maintain effective IT
    systems and the complexity and costs of our IT environment;
  *general economic and financial market conditions, the level of consumer
    confidence and spending, and the demand for, and prices of, our products
    and services;
  *our ability to implement our strategies and plans in order to produce the
    expected benefits, including our ability to continue to implement our cost
    reduction initiatives and contain capital intensity while seeking to
    improve customer service;
  *increased contributions to employee benefit plans;
  *ineffective management of changes resulting from restructurings and other
    corporate initiatives and from the integration of business units and
    business acquisitions;
  *the complexity of our product offerings and pricing plans;
  *labour disruptions;
  *employee retention and performance;
  *events affecting the ability of third-party suppliers to provide to us,
    and our ability to purchase, essential products and services;
  *the quality of our network and customer equipment and the extent to which
    they may be subject to manufacturing defects;
  *capital and other expenditure levels, financing and debt requirements and
    our ability to raise the capital we need to implement our business plan,
    including for BCE's dividend payments and to fund capital and other
    expenditures and generally meet our financial obligations;
  *our ability to discontinue certain traditional services as necessary to
    improve capital and operating efficiencies;
  *launch and in-orbit risks of satellites used by BellExpressVu Limited
  *the theft of our DTH satellite television services;
  *Bell Media's significant dependence on continued demand for advertising,
    and the potential adverse effect thereon from economic conditions,
    cyclical and seasonal variations and competitive pressures;
  *the adverse effect of new technology and increasing fragmentation in Bell
    Media's television and radio markets;
  *potential increases in royalties payable by Bell Media under licences
    pursuant to the Copyright Act may increase;
  *health concerns about radio frequency emissions from wireless devices;
  *BCE's dependence on the ability of its subsidiaries, joint ventures and
    other companies in which it has an interest to pay dividends and make
    other distributions;
  *there can be no certainty that dividends will be declared by BCE's board
    of directors or that BCE's dividend policy will be maintained;
  *stock market volatility;
  *our failure to evolve practices and effectively monitor and control
    fraudulent activities; and
  *the expected timing and completion of the proposed acquisition by BCE of
    Astral is subject to approval by the CRTC and Competition Bureau, other
    closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties;
    accordingly, there can be no certainty that the transaction will be
    completed or that anticipated benefits will be realized.

We caution that the foregoing list of risk factors is not exhaustive and other
factors could also adversely affect our results.

We encourage investors to also read BCE's Safe Harbour Notice Concerning
Forward-Looking Statements dated February 7, 2013, for additional information
with respect to certain of these and other assumptions and risks, filed by BCE
with the Canadian securities commissions (available at www.sedar.com) and with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at www.sec.gov). This
document is also available on BCE's website at www.bce.ca. BCE's Safe Harbour
Notice Concerning Forward-Looking Statements dated February 7, 2013 is
incorporated by reference into this news release. For additional information,
please refer to the February 7, 2013 Bell Investor Conference 2013
presentations available on BCE's website.

BCE is Canada's largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and
innovative suite of broadband communication services to residential and
business customers under the Bell and Bell Aliant brands. Bell Media is
Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio
and digital media, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and the
country's most-watched specialty channels.

The Bell Mental Health Initiative is a multi-year charitable program that
promotes mental health across Canada via the Bell Let's Talk anti-stigma
campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best
practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

For BCE corporate information, please visit BCE.ca. For Bell product and
service information, please visit Bell.ca. For Bell Media, please visit

SOURCE Bell Canada


Media inquiries:
Jean Charles Robillard
Bell Media Relations
(514) 870-4739

Investor inquiries:
Thane Fotopoulos
BCE Investor Relations
(514) 870-4619
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