August 27, 2019 / 7:16 AM / 4 months ago

Israel's Partner Communications Q2 profit up less than forecast

TEL AVIV, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Partner Communications , Israel's second-largest mobile phone operator, reported higher quarterly profit, boosted by lower tax expenses.

Partner said on Tuesday it earned 3 million shekels ($855,237) in the second quarter, up from 2 million a year earlier but below 6 million shekels forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Revenue slipped 2% to 781 million shekels, with its cellular subscriber base unchanged in the quarter at 2.62 million.

Partner's revenue and profit have plunged in the wake of a 2012 reform that opened up the mobile market to new players, sharply reducing prices. It is seeking new revenue streams and is making a push to become an integrated multi-service telecoms group.

"Despite the ongoing competition, our ARPU (average revenue per user) has increased and churn rate has decreased, and is at the lowest level since 2011," CEO Isaac Benbenisti said.

The company said it has over 170,000 subscribers for its internet-based TV service and its fibre optics infrastructure has reached over 480,000 households.

Earlier this month Cellcom, Israel's largest mobile phone operator, reported a steeper-than-expected net loss of 35 million shekels. ($1 = 3.5078 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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