Israeli mobile network operator Partner Communications has released its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2010, posting a 13.9% year-on-year increase in net profit at ILS337 million (USD91 million), a rise the cellco attributed to a ‘significant improvement in profitability parameters’. Revenue also rose against the same period a year earlier, with Partner generating a turnover of ILS1.587 billion for the three-month period, up 12.4% against 1Q 2009, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached ILS619 million, a 12.1% y-o-y rise.
In terms of subscribers, at the end of March 2010 Partner’s customer base had reached 3.068 million, up from 2.903 million a year earlier, while the cellco also reported that approximately 1.355 million of its subscribers were signed up to 3G services.
Despite the positive results, Partner echoed the criticism of other mobile operators regarding the Ministry of Communications’ (MoC’s) decision to reduce mobile termination rates, announced earlier this month. Partner said that the proposed legislation was ‘out of line with previous Ministry policies as well as worldwide common practices. We believe that we have persuasive arguments against this decision. Thus, we intend to vigorously fight it and in parallel publicly promote the opening of the fixed line market to fair competition for the benefit of the customers,’ adding, ‘The decision might have a material adverse impact on our earnings and we intend to take all the necessary measures to mitigate it, inter alia, by reviewing our cost structure and generating additional revenues from the fixed line business.’