UPDATE 1-Vodafone Qatar beats forecasts with smaller quarterly loss

Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:14pm EDT

* Q1 net loss 27.4 mln riyals vs 84.9 mln riyal loss in Q1 last year

* Revenue and subscribers up 27 pct and 18 pct respectively (Adds detail, context)

DUBAI, July 22 (Reuters) - Vodafone Qatar, an affiliate of Vodafone Group, reported a narrowing first-quarter loss on Tuesday, beating the average forecast of analysts as revenue and subscriber numbers jumped.

The No.2 telecoms operator in the Gulf Arab state made a net loss of 27.4 million riyals ($7.5 million) in the three months to June 30, according to a statement on its website. Its financial year begins on April 1.

The figure was better than the loss of 84.9 million riyals it posted in the same period last year, as well as the consensus forecast from analysts polled by Reuters, who expected a loss of 37.5 million riyals.

Vodafone, which ended Ooredoo's domestic monopoly in 2009, was boosted by 27 percent year-on-year growth in first-quarter revenue to 585 million riyals.

Average revenue per user (ARPU), a key industry metric, was 131 riyals in the quarter, up from 123 riyals in the corresponding period last year.

Vodafone Qatar - 23 percent owned by parent Vodafone - had 1.35 million mobile customers at June 30, up 18 percent from a year earlier. ($1 = 3.6405 Qatar Riyals) (Reporting by David French; Editing by David Goodman)