TEL AVIV Aug 28 Partner Communications
, Israel's second-largest mobile phone operator, posted
an 83 percent drop in second-quarter net profit as the company
faces increased competition and an erosion in prices.
Net profit fell to 20 million shekels ($5.4 million) from 120
million a year earlier as revenue dropped 21 percent to 1.13
billion shekels, Partner said on Wednesday.
The company was forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts to
earn 42.6 million shekels on revenue of 1.14 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 of the second quarter of 2013 continue to
reflect, on the one hand, the ongoing impact of the competition
in the market and, on the other hand, our investment in the
company's key assets," Partner Chief Executive Haim Romano said
in a statement.
The company reduced operating expenses by 153 million
shekels in the quarter and said it plans to implement additional
efficiency measures in the coming quarters to further reduce
Partner invested 122 million shekels in the quarter in
enhancing the quality of the cellular network including high
definition voice technology, and enabling extended battery life
by up to 40 percent.
Its subscriber base fell 6 percent from a year earlier to
2.92 million due to a decrease in the pre-paid subscriber base.
Cellcom, Israel's biggest mobile phone operator, had
previously reported a 45 percent drop in second quarter net
profit to 67 million shekels and a 17.5 percent decline in
Pelephone, a unit of Bezeq Israel Telecom,
reported a 17 percent drop in quarterly profit and 20.3 percent
fall in revenue.