NEW DELHI Jan 23 Reliance Communications Ltd
, India's No.3 mobile phone carrier by customers,
reported a bigger-than-expected 44 percent drop in quarterly
profit as its heavy debt load continued to weigh on earnings.
Consolidated net profit at the carrier, controlled by
billionaire Anil Ambani, fell to 1.05 billion rupees ($20
million) for its fiscal third quarter ended December, from 1.86
billion rupees reported a year earlier.
Analysts had expected the company to report a net profit of
1.83 billion rupees, according the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
($1 = 53.8150 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Aradhana Aravindan;
Editing by Matt Driskill and Anurag Kotoky)