February 20, 2018 / 8:01 PM / 3 months ago

Spark NZ's half-year profit falls as rising competition hurts bottom line

Feb 21 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s biggest telecommunications and internet provider Spark New Zealand Ltd said first half net profit fell about 3 percent as it experienced fierce competition in the mobile market.

Net profit was NZ$172 million ($126.30 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, the company said on Wednesday compared to NZ$178 million a year ago. Analysts at Morgan Stanley had forecast an interim profit of NZ$174 million.

The company declared a total interim dividend of 12.5 New Zealand cents per share, made up of an ordinary dividend of 11 cents and a special dividend of 1.5 cents. ($1 = 1.3618 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Sumeet Gaikwad in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye/Mark Heinrich)

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