Brazil's Oi beats profit forecast, halts shrinking-sales trend

Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:31pm EST

* Q3 net income more than double analyst estimates

* Turnaround plan boosts revenue

SAO PAULO Nov 13 (Reuters) - Brazilian telecom Oi SA posted more than twice the third-quarter profit that analysts expected on Tuesday, as a turnaround plan helped grow revenue from a year earlier for the first time in two years.

Oi's net income of 315 million reais ($153 million) beat an average forecast of 144 million reais in a Reuters poll of analysts. Profit was not comparable to results a year earlier, before a corporate restructuring.

Solid growth of Oi's post-paid wireless plans and a slower contraction of fixed-line services boosted revenue by 1.5 percent from a year earlier, halting a shrinking sales trend.

But Oi had to spend heavily on marketing and handset subsidies to bolster growth in the midst of an abrupt slowdown in the mobile phone market.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, fell 11 percent from a year earlier to 2.186 billion reais, near a forecast of 2.213 billion reais in the Reuters survey.

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