Partners Help Level 3 Boost Sales, Profit

Partners who sell services from communications giant Level 3 to their enterprise customers contributed to jumps in sales and profit in the most recent quarter.

The company, which reported its latest earnings on Wednesday, said profit was $66 million in the fourth quarter, up from $14 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue grew by almost 20 percent over the same period, to $1.91 billion.

Sales of core network services – IP, voice, video and more supported by VPN, CDN and data-center products – were up 3.7 percent for the quarter and more than 6 percent in 2014 when compared to the year prior.

Level 3, which wrapped its purchase of rival tw telecom in October, reported those numbers separately, but they also were good. Revenue for tw telecom rose more than 8 percent, boosted by more than a 15 percent spike in Internet and data sales.

“Level 3 had a solid 2014, delivering strong financial and operational results and completing the acquisition of tw telecom,” said Jeff Storey, president and CEO of Level 3. “In 2015, we continue to focus on executing against our integration plans while investing to grow the business well into the future.”

After the tw telecom acquisition was announced last summer, analysts and partners we talked with were mostly bullish on the future of the combined company’s channel program, with several predicting that Level 3’s investment in the channel is likely to increase.

The past year has signaled quite a turnaround for Level 3, which has gradually shed a heavy debt burden and begun to turn a profit.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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