(Corrects syntax in headline)
Jan 27 (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc surpassed quarterly revenue and profit expectations on Thursday as the Canadian telecom giant saw a recovery in its wireless business and ad sales, helped by less stringent COVID-19 restrictions.
The results come after a months-long battle for control of Canada's biggest wireless carrier that saw Chairman Edward Rogers oust CEO Joe Natale and appoint his confidante Tony Staffieri to the role.
The company's wireless service revenue rose 6% in the last three months of 2021 on the back of an increase in subscribers who pay a monthly phone bill and a jump in roaming revenue as travel restrictions were eased. The Toronto-based company added 141,000 monthly paying subscribers in the quarter.
The Toronto Blue Jays owner's media business rebounded and was up 26% in the quarter from a year earlier as the return of live sports to TV bolstered its ad sales.
Rogers said it expected total service revenue growth of 4% to 6% in 2022, the midpoint of which implies a total revenue of $13.16 billion. The company had refrained from issuing any guidance over the last few quarters due to uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is a critical year for Rogers and the changes we are making to drive a renewed focus on execution," newly appointed CEO Tony Staffieri said.
The boardroom tussle had weighed on Rogers shares and raised questions over whether it would impact a proposed C$20 billion ($16.1 billion) deal for rival Shaw Communications , which the company still expects will close in the first half of 2022.
Total revenue was C$3.92 billion ($3.09 billion) in the fourth quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate of C$3.86 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Excluding items, the company earned 96 Canadian cents per share, beating estimates of 95 Canadian cents.
U.S.-listed shares of Rogers rose 1.8% in early trade. ($1 = 1.2704 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Richard Rohan Francis and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Krishna Chandra Eluri)