Israeli mobile operator Cellcom swings to Q3 profit

Logos of Israeli mobile phone company Cellcom, are seen on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken in Jerusalem December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Illustration/File Photo

JERUSALEM, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Cellcom (CEL.TA), Israel's largest mobile phone operator, reported a third-quarter profit helped by increased roaming charges with COVID-19 restrictions on tourism slowly easing.

Revenue, however, has not fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, the company said.

Cellcom, which has transformed into a full telecoms group, on Tuesday reported a profit of 13 million shekels ($4 million) in the quarter, versus a 37 million shekel loss a year earlier. Revenue rose 4% to 994 million shekels.

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Like its peers, Cellcom has been pressured in recent years by intense competition in the mobile sector while the coronavirus pandemic hurt revenues from roaming services of customers travelling overseas as well as roaming services of tourists travelling to Israel.

Its number of internet customers was up 4% from a year earlier to 300,000 -- 123,000 of those connected to its fibre network -- while TV subscribers slipped to 250,000 from 251,000.

Mobile phone subscribers rose by 20,000 from the previous quarter to 3.246 million.

($1 = 3.1057 shekels)

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Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer

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