* Q1 profit 34.4 mln rials vs 29.1 mln rials a yr ago
* Q1 revenue 120.2 mln rials vs 114.5 mln rials a yr ago (Adds details)
By Matt Smith
DUBAI, May 7 (Reuters) - Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) reported an 18 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analysts’ estimates as wholesale revenue rose by nearly a third to offset declining text and international call income.
The former monopoly made a net profit of 34.4 million rials ($89 million) in the three months to March 31, up from 29.1 million rials in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Omantel would make a quarterly profit of 29.3 million rials.
Omantel attributed the profit rise to a 29 percent increase in wholesale revenue, but did not provide further details.
The company is a partner in the Europe-Persia Express Gateway (EPEG), a mostly overland fibre broadband cable launched in December 2012 that runs about 10,000 km from Frankfurt to Barka, 80 km west of Oman’s capital Muscat.
The rise in wholesale offset declining text, fixed-line and international call income, Omantel said.
First-quarter revenue was 120.2 million rials. This compares with 114.5 million rials a year ago.
Omantel, which competes with Nawras, a unit of Qatar’s Ooredoo, posted a 5.3 percent rise in domestic subscribers to 3.11 million.
Omantel hosts two mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), Friendi and Renna, and also owns a controlling stake in Pakistan’s Worldcall, which swung to a small quarterly profit. ($1 = 0.3850 Omani Rials) (Reporting by Matt Smith; editing by Keiron Henderson)