Thailand's AIS Q4 net profit surges on strong mobile use

BANGKOK Thu Feb 7, 2013 1:32am EST

BANGKOK Feb 7 (Reuters) - Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) ADVA.BK, Thailand's top mobile phone operator, reported a 131 percent rise in quarterly net profit on Thursday, boosted by strong voice and data services and handset sales after the launch of Apple's iPhone 5.

AIS, 21 percent owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd , posted a net profit of 8.46 billion baht ($284 million) for October-December. That was up from 3.66 billion a year earlier when it booked a 3.2 billion baht expenses on network impairment.

The result was slightly lower than the average forecast of 9 billion baht from 13 analysts polled by Reuters.

For 2012, net profit rose 57 percent to 34.9 billion baht.

The country's third-most valuable listed company has about 50 percent of the cellular market in Thailand, ahead of Total Access Communication's roughly 30 percent. ($1= 29.76 Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Martin Petty)

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