PTCL Net Profit in 3rd Quarter Falls on Lower Revenue

PTCL, the nation’s biggest phone-service provider, reported a 36 percent decline in third-quarter profit after it lost business to rivals.

The company recorded a profit of 1.91 billion rupees ($24 million), or 0.37 rupee a share, in the three months ended March 31, from 2.98 billion rupees, or 0.58 rupee, a year earlier, the Islamabad-based company said in a statement to the Karachi Stock Exchange today. Revenue fell to 13.9 billion rupees from 16.2 billion rupees.

“It’s a fight for market share in the highly competitive telecom market that’s hurting profit,” said Khurram Merchant, research analyst at Invisor Securities, in Karachi, who has a “buy” recommendation on the stock.

Pakistan Telecom has lost business to rivals including Telenor Asa. and China Mobile Communications Ltd. since 2004 when the government gave licenses to non-state telephone companies to start business, ending its monopoly.

The company recorded a nine month profit of 7.22 billion rupees or 1.42 rupees a share, compared with a net loss of 6.56 billion rupees, or 1.29 rupees a share a year ago, the statement said.

Pakistan Telecom shares, which have risen 3.3 percent this year, fell 4.9 percent to 17.45 rupees as of 1:58 p.m. local time on the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Emirates Telecommunications, the state-owned telephone provider in the United Arab Emirates, won management control of Pakistan Telecom in April 2006 after it bought a 26 percent stake in the company for $2.6 billion.

Via [BloomBerg]

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