Thailand's AIS Q2 net profit down 7.8 pct, below forecast

BANGKOK Mon Aug 4, 2014 6:57am EDT

BANGKOK Aug 4 (Reuters) - Advanced Info Service Pcl , Thailand's largest mobile phone operator, reported a 7.8 percent drop in second quarter net profit on Monday, hit by falling voice revenue in a weak consumption and fierce competition after months of political unrest.

AIS, 23-percent owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd , posted a net profit of 8.48 billion baht ($263.60 million) for the April-June quarter, slightly below the 8.9 billion baht forecast on average by 10 analysts polled by Reuters.

This compared with 9.19 billion baht a year earlier and 9.48 billion baht in the previous quarter.

The second quarter is normally low season for mobile phone use, while competition is heating up as operators offer aggressive pricing to attract clients and cuts in handset prices.

AIS shares, valued at $19 billion, have fallen 14 percent in the past three months, underperforming a 6 percent gain in the broad Thai index after the military government postponed an auction for fourth-generation mobile phone bandwidth.

($1 = 32.1700 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; editing by Jason Neely)

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