October 21, 2010 / 5:57 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Mobistar Q3 beats expectations, keeps outlook

* Q3 core profit 136.6 mln euros vs expectations of 130 mln

* Q3 revenues 414.9 mln euros vs consensus of 407 mln

* Confirms forecasts for 2010

(Adds details, background)

BRUSSELS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Belgium’s Mobistar MSTAR.BR reported a slighter-than-expected 4 percent decline in third-quarter core profit on Thursday, with more smart phone sales and mobile data traffic capped by restrictions on rates.

Mobistar, Belgium’s second biggest mobile phone operator which is majority-owned by France Telecom FTE.PA said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) decreased to 136.6 million euros, slightly better than a consensus forecast of 130 million.

Third quarter revenues grew by a higher-than-expected 7.5 percent from a year earlier, buoyed by strong smart phone sales and mobile data activities.

Roaming tariffs were cut by telecom regulators from the start of July and mobile termination rates, the charge for routing mobile calls, at the start of August, depressing profits.

The group confirmed its outlook for the full year which includes an increase in revenues of about 5 percent, EBITDA between 520 and 540 million euros and net profit of 225 and 245 million euros.

Mobistar reported EBITDA of 567.0 million euros and a net profit of 260.3 million euros in 2009. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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