Thailand's AIS Q4 net profit up 4 percent, meets forecast

BANGKOK Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:50am EST

BANGKOK Feb 11 (Reuters) - Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) Thailand's top mobile phone operator, reported a 4 percent rise in fourth quarter net profit on Tuesday, boosted by higher non-voice revenue and lower tax expenses.

AIS, 21 percent-owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd , posted a net profit for the October-December quarter of 8.8 billion thai baht ($268 million), up from 8.46 billion a year earlier, and in line with the 8.7 billion baht forecast by 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

For 2013, AIS posted a 4 percent rise in net profit to 36.3 billion baht.

AIS shares, which trading near a 14-month low, have dropped since October due to concerns about slower voice revenue from the economic slowdown and possible contraction of its profit margin from mounting competition.

In November, the market leader cut its 2013 revenue growth target to 5-6 percent from 6-8 percent due to cautious consumer spending.

($1 = 32.8150 Thai baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; editing by Jason Neely)