India's Reliance Comm Q2 net plunges 60 pct

NEW DELHI Thu Nov 8, 2012 6:08pm IST

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NEW DELHI Nov 8 (Reuters) - India's Reliance Communications Ltd reported a sharper-than-expected 60 percent decline in quarterly profit as the country's No.3 mobile phone carrier by customers struggles with its heavy debt load.

Consolidated net profit fell to 1.02 billion rupees ($19 million) for its fiscal second quarter ended September, from 2.52 billion rupees reported a year earlier, Reliance Communications, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, said in a statement on Thursday.

Analysts had expected the company to report a net profit of 1.64 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares in Reliance Communications, valued at $2.2 billion, closed 1.4 percent higher ahead of the earnings announcement. The stock is down 16 percent this year, underperforming the benchmark Mumbai index that is up 22 percent. ($1 = 54.0650 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Matt Driskill, Aradhana Aravindan)