JERUSALEM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Partner Communications , Israel's second-largest mobile phone operator, reported a 73% drop in third quarter profit due to weaker equipment sales and the adoption of a new accounting method.
Partner said on Tuesday it earned 7 million shekels ($2 million) in the quarter, down from 26 million a year earlier, and below a 12.7 million shekels forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Revenue edged up to 825 million shekels from 822 million the previous year, with its cellular subscriber base climbing to 2.65 million in the quarter from 2.63 a year earlier.
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.
"In the cellular segment, where the intensity of competition continues to remain high, a clear trend of decreasing erosion in service revenues can be seen for several quarters," Chief Financial Officer Tamir Amar said.
The company said it had about 176,000 subscribers for its internet-based TV service at the end of the quarter and its fibre optics infrastructure has reached over 540,000 households. ($1 = 3.4684 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)