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India's top phone carrier Bharti Airtel reports first profit rise in 4 years

Published on Jan 29, 2014 2:29 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel, India's top phone carrier, missed expectations but still reported its first quarterly profit rise in four years as the embattled domestic market turns the corner after a years-long price war.

Consolidated net profit more than doubled to 6.10 billion rupees (S$124.4 million) from a year earlier, Bharti said on Wednesday, but was sharply lower than analysts' estimates of 10.44 billion rupees. Before tax-related one-off costs, net profit was 8.32 billion rupees.

Shares in Bharti, valued at about US$20 billion, pared gains to trade up 0.5 per cent at 5.40am GMT after rising as much as 2.9 per cent after the results were released.

Bharti and its main rivals in India, including the local unit of Vodafone Group Plc, last year raised voice prices for the first time in three years. They continue to cut discounts previously offered to lure customers in a highly competitive market.

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