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Comcast Business Services Has ‘Emerged From The Pandemic,’ Says CEO

The cable giant’s Business Services segment was a primary driver of the company’s growth during the third quarter, which will only be further catapulted by Comcast’s buy of Masergy Communications this month, executives say.

Comcast’s Business Services segment and “world-class” network drove the cable behemoth’s third-quarter 2021’s financial success. The company’s recent Masergy Communications buy will only compound that growth, according to Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.

“Business services has emerged from pandemic and was a key driver of our results. We believe this momentum will continue,” Roberts told investors during the carrier’s fiscal third-quarter 2021 conference call Thursday morning.

Roberts called out Comcast’s acquisition of Plano-Texas-based Masergy Communications, a channel-first hybrid networking and SDN specialist, in a deal that will help Comcast build up its SD-WAN and cloud-based security chops. The companies closed the deal earlier this month.

“[Masergy] builds on our strong offering of technology solutions,” Roberts said. “Masergy has become a leading provider to companies worldwide and unlocks a customer segment that we don’t have today, particularly U.S.-based organizations with multi-site, global operations.”

[Related: Comcast Business To Acquire Masergy In SD-WAN Blockbuster]

Comcast’s Cable Communications unit—which includes high-speed internet, voice, video, wireless and business services—saw a 7.4 percent bump up during third-quarter 2021. The segment generated revenue of $16.12 billion compared with $15.00 billion in the third quarter of 2020. High-speed internet posted a double-digit revenue climb of 11.6 percent to $5.80 billion, up from $5.19 billion a year ago.

Comcast’s Business segment pulled in $2.28 billion during the third quarter, up 8.7 percent from $2.05 billion during 2020’s third quarter. The company’s Business unit has been very successful in the small- to midsize-business space in the past decade with its connectivity services. Michael Cavanagh, Comcast’s CFO, said that continuing growth in the SMB space and recovery from the pandemic drove its Business segment’s momentum during the third quarter.

Despite its SMB success, Comcast still has its sights set on the midmarket and enterprise, an effort that will be propelled by its Masergy purchase, Roberts said.

“We’re significantly underpenetrated in the midmarket and enterprise segments. We see a lot of potential to take share in our large, addressable market, which just got even bigger, post our recent acquisition of Masergy,” he said.

Comcast’s wireless service, Xfinity Mobile, continued to shine brightly during third-quarter 2021 with its best results since the launch of the service in 2017, Cavanagh said. The segment grew a whopping 50.7 percent during the third quarter with revenue of $603 million, compared with $400 million a year ago. The company added 285,000 wireless lines during the quarter, the most in any quarter.

“We continue to look for ways we can accelerate this business even further as wireline and wireless connectivity services continue to converge,” Roberts said.

Comcast’s Cable Communications increased its total number of customer relationships by 255,000 in the quarter, with business customer relationships increasing by 18,000 during third-quarter 2021. The segment now has 34 million customers, driven by Comcast’s broadband offerings, Cavanagh said.

The total number of high-speed internet customers, including residential and business users, was 1.1 million. The company added 300,000 new customers during the quarter, Philadelphia-based Comcast said.

For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Comcast reported revenue of $30.29 billion, an 18.7 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2020’s result of $25.53 billion. Net income in the quarter was $4.06 billion, a 99.8 percent bump up from last year’s ending balance of $2.02 billion. The cable giant posted adjusted earnings per share of 87 cents, up 33.8 percent compared with 65 cents per share for the same quarter of 2020.

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