BCE’s Chief Executive Hedges on a September Return to Office 


BCE Inc., Canada’s largest telecommunications provider by market value, is uncertain whether it will bring employees back to the office in early September because of lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

“I had hoped that by Labor Day we could start bringing some people back,” Chief Executive Officer Mirko Bibic said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Television. “I’m not sure now, so we’ll always adjust based on guidelines and advice from public health officials.”

Bibic said that more than 80% of BCE’s staff have been working from home, a setup that’s expected to continue for months.

Canada has been battling a third wave of Covid-19. Ontario, the country’s most populous province, implemented its strictest measures to date earlier this month to curb rising infections and a record number of serious cases requiring intensive care.

“We’ve become accustomed to operating in these very difficult circumstances,” Bibic said. The Quebec-based company “is in a much better position than we were a year ago,” he added.

On Thursday, BCE reported its first quarter of revenue growth since the start of the pandemic. Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose 1.2% from a year earlier, to C$5.7 billion ($4.6 billion), beating analysts’ average estimates of C$5.6 billion.

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