TEL AVIV May 22 Partner Communications
, Israel's second-largest mobile phone operator, posted
a 79 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as the company
faces increased competition and an erosion in prices.
Net profit fell to 31 million shekels ($8.5 million) from
146 million a year earlier as revenue dropped 27 percent to
1.144 billion shekels, Partner said on Wednesday.
The company was forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts to
earn 64 million shekels on revenue of 1.174 billion.
Israel's mobile phone industry was shaken up last year with
the entry of six new operators, sparking a price war - with
unlimited calling plans for $25 a month or lower.
"The results for the first quarter of 2013 reflect the
continuing impact of the fierce competition in the
telecommunications market, as reflected in the significant price
erosion and decline in the company's revenues," Partner Chief
Executive Haim Romano said in a statement.
Despite the decline in revenue and profit, Partner continues
to invest in its assets, he said. Investments in the first
quarter totalled 130 million shekels, mainly in the advanced
The company reduced its operating expenses by 17 percent in
the quarter, reflecting efficiency measures undertaken over the
last four quarters, especially the reduction in the workforce of
approximately a third.
"The efficiency measures that we are implementing continue;
however they are not yet fully reflected in the company's
results," Romano said.
Its subscriber base fell 7 percent from a year earlier to
Cellcom, Israel's biggest mobile phone operator, had
reported a 61 percent drop in first quarter net profit and a
20.6 percent decline in revenue.
Pelephone, a unit of Bezeq Israel Telecom, earlier
reported a 29 percent drop in quarterly profit and 22.5 percent
fall in revenue.