Israeli Bezeq Reports 15% Rise in Quarterly Profit, Mobile Carrier Partner’s Net Plunges

Cost-cutting measures helped Israel’s largest telecommunications group overcome a decline in revenue stemming from intense competition, it says

File photo: The logo of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp Ltd, the country's largest telecom group, is seen outside their headquarters in Tel Aviv, June 21, 2017.
Amir Cohen/Reuters

Bezeq on Thursday reported a 15% rise in quarterly profit to beat estimates, saying cost-cutting measures helped it overcome a decline in revenue stemming from intense competition.

Israel’s largest telecommunications group earned 300 million shekels ($83 million) in the first quarter, up from 260 million a year earlier, as revenue slipped 4.4% to 2.26 billion shekels.

Bezeq, which is being investigated for securities offenses and is the midst of a corporate shake-up, was forecast to earn 245 million shekels on revenue of 2.3 billion, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.The company maintained a 2019 net profit projection of 900 million to 1 billion shekels.

Meanwhile, Partner Communications, Israel’s second-largest mobile carrier, reported a 78% drop in quarterly profit as it continues to invest heavily in the deployment of a fiber optic network and its television service.

Partner earned 2 million shekels in the first quarter, down from 9 million a year earlier and compared with a loss of 3 million shekels forecast in a Reuters poll.

Revenue slipped 4% to 794 million shekels, with its cellular subscriber base falling by 1% in the quarter to 2.62 million.

The company said over 152,000 households had subscribed to its internet-based TV service and its fiber optic infrastructure has reached over 400,000 households.