UPDATE 1-Dutch telco KPN Q3 core profit tops estimates on lower costs

(Adds details on results, CEO quote, and background)

AMSTERDAM, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Dutch telecom company KPN on Friday beat analysts’ expectations with a nearly 3% rise in its third-quarter core earnings to 599 million euros ($665.1 million), as cost cuts compensated for lower revenue.

KPN in recent years sold its international activities and now mainly sells telephone, internet and TV services in the Dutch market.

Company’s third-quarter revenue dropped 1.8% to 1.37 billion euros, dented by fierce competition in the telecom market and declining sales of handsets.

Analysts polled by the company on average predicted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter to come in at 589 million euros. KPN had posted an EBITDA of 582 million euros last year.

“Our quarterly performance continues to reflect a mix of an ongoing competitive environment and the impact of our strategic actions”, Chief Executive Joost Farwerck said.

Insider Farwerck was appointed as KPN’s CEO earlier this month amid a wider management revamp, a day after the company dropped its plan to name Belgian executive Dominique Leroy to the job - after she became embroiled in an insider trading investigation in Belgium.

In his first results presentation, Farwerck increased the outlook for the company’s 2019 free cash flow to at least 700 million euros from an earlier indication of an incidental decline.

$1 = 0.9007 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer. Editing by Toby Sterling and Sherry Jacob-Phillips