Rogers Communications executives insisted accelerated digitalisation and efficiency initiatives would help it emerge from the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic a stronger company, as it booked a steep drop in Q2 profit.

Though the pandemic weighed on its performance, on an earnings call CEO Joseph Natale said it also forced the company to rapidly implement changes to its operations which will ultimately be a boon.

He cited transitions to a new self-installation model for its cable unit, and digital sales and remote customer service for its mobile business as examples.

“They’re just not going to help the back half of the year, they will help the structural profile and margin of this business through the next long while.”

He added Rogers Communications’ will use its existing assets to move “full steam ahead” with 5G deployments, despite a recent government decision to delay an auction of 3.5GHz spectrum until June 2021.

During Q2, net income plunged 53 per cent year-on-year to CAD279 million ($208.1 million) and revenue fell 17 per cent to CAD3.1 billion.

The operator’s media division was hardest hit, with revenue dropping 50 per cent to CAD296 million as advertising fell off, though its mobile unit also lost ground with turnover down 14 per cent to CAD1.9 billion due to lower equipment sales and roaming revenue. Cable revenue was 3 per cent lower at CAD966 million.