March 27, 2019 / 8:10 AM / 3 months ago

Israel's Partner Communications swings to Q4 profit

TEL AVIV, March 27 (Reuters) - Partner Communications , Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator, swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, though revenue dropped due to seasonality, the company said on Wednesday.

Partner earned 19 million shekels ($5.2 million) in the quarter, versus a loss of 50 million shekels a year ago when it recorded a one-time expense resulting from early loan repayments.

Quarterly revenue slipped 2 percent to 814 million shekels, with its cellular subscriber base falling 1 percent to about 2.65 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 from the deployment of a fibre optics network and new TV services.

The company said 122,000 households had subscribed to its internet-based TV service and its fibre optics infrastructure has reached over 350,000 households.

“The new revenue engines are developing rapidly, and serve to strengthen the company’s resilience in light of the unrestrained competition in the Israeli cellular market,” said Tamir Amar, Partner’s chief financial officer. ($1 = 3.6251 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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