MUMBAI Idea Cellular, India's third largest telecom company, reported a smaller than expected fall in quarterly profit helped by strong voice and data revenue.
The company, which has 184 million mobile subscribers, posted a 38.9 percent fall in profit to 5.76 billion rupees ($86.60 million) in the three months to the end of March, hurt by higher financing and spectrum fees of its 4G network.
Profit did however exceed the 5.27 billion rupees expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data. The figures are the fourth quarter of the company's financial year.
Idea, along with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone's India unit have been heavily spending on ramping up 4G networks in anticipation of Reliance Industries 4G telecom service launch later this year.
Idea, part of the Aditya Birla conglomerate and nearly a fifth owned by Malaysia's Axiata, said data revenue grew 5.2 percent quarter-on-quarter while average revenue per user for voice services increased 1.7 percent to 179 rupees.
Total revenue rose 12.6 percent to 94.8 billion rupees for the Jan-March quarter. ($1 = 66.5092 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Himank Sharma; Editing by Sunil Nair and Keith Weir)
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