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NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Profit at Bharti Airtel Ltd , India's top mobile network operator, fell for the twelfth quarter in a row and missed estimates by a wide margin, dragged down by higher costs.
Bharti Airtel, controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal, said consolidated net profit fell to 2.84 billion rupees ($53.39 million) in the fiscal third quarter that ended Dec. 31, from 10.11 billion rupees a year earlier.
Analysts had expected the company to report net profit of 8.45 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Bharti Airtel is the world's fourth-biggest cellular carrier by number of subscribers, operating in 20 countries in Asia and Africa. Singapore's SingTel owns almost a third of the firm. ($1 = 53.1900 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)