UPDATE 2-Mexico's America Movil 1st-qtr profit soars

Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:53pm EDT

MEXICO CITY, April 26 (Reuters) - America Movil, the biggest cellphone company in Latin America, posted a better-than-expected jump in first-quarter net profit, helped by the addition of Brazilian cable television company Net Servicos and favorable foreign exchange rates.

The company, owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, earned 32.641 billion pesos ($2.5 billion) in the January-March period, up 37.5 percent from 23.744 billion pesos in the same quarter of 2011.

Analysts in a Reuters poll were expecting a net profit of 27.768 billion pesos in the period.

Revenue climbed 12.4 percent to 192.498 billion pesos.

America Movil , which added 4.2 million mobile subscribers in the quarter, absorbed Net Servicos earlier this year.

Favorable currency trends also boosted the bottom line, the company said, as "the appreciation of various currencies relative to the U.S. dollar led to a foreign exchange gain."

Fixed-line revenues grew 7.1 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, with wireless revenues 15.8 percent higher in Mexican peso terms. Revenue from wireless customers accounted for 62.5 percent of the total for the quarter, the company said.

America Movil acquired Mexico fixed-line giant Telmex last year as the companies controlled by Slim continued to shed home phone customers in Mexico, with 2 percent fewer fixed-lines than in the year-ago quarter.

Regulators in Mexico, where Slim founded his telecom empire, have been pushing down mobile phone costs, and America Movil saw a sharp drop in cellphone income in the first three months of the year.

Voice revenues plummeted 9.8 percent because of a 41.6 percent reduction in revenues linked to calls between fixed home phone lines and cellphones, the company said on Thursday.

The company's shares closed up 0.12 percent at 16.60 pesos in local trading.

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