UPDATE 1-Oman telco Nawras Q4 profit falls 3 pct

Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:22am EST

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DUBAI Jan 30 (Reuters) - Oman's second biggest telecommunications operator, Nawras, reported a 3 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, citing higher depreciation costs linked to investment in network modernisation and expansion.

The firm, majority-owned by Ooredoo, made a net profit of 10 million rials ($25.97 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, down from 10.3 million rials in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement.

It reported declining profits in seven of the previous eight quarters.

Gulf Baader Capital Markets had forecast Nawras, which ended Oman Telecommunication Co's (Omantel) monopoly in 2005, would make a quarterly profit of 8.54 million rials.

Revenue for the quarter increased to 52.8 million rials, up 2.7 percent from the corresponding period in 2012.

Nawras made a full-year profit for 2013 of 33.1 million rials, down from 37.0 million rials in 2012. Annual revenue rose 4 percent to 202 million rials. ($1 = 0.3851 Omani rials) (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Edting by Andrew Torchia)

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