January 31, 2019 / 12:16 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-India's Bharti Airtel posts 72 pct third-quarter profit drop as price pressure weighs

* Q3 profit of 862 mln rupees vs estimated loss of 6.86 bln rupees

* Posts 14.14 bln rupees one-off gain (Adds details, context and shares)

Jan 31 (Reuters) - India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd posted a nearly 72 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, its 11th straight profit decline on a year-on-year basis, as the telecoms bellwether suffered from continuing pricing pressure.

The deflated results come in at a time when the country’s telecoms industry is still reeling from the impact of a price war which began after the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd , owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

The shake up resulted in industry consolidation such as London-based Vodafone Plc merging its Indian operations with Idea Cellular in a deal worth $23 billion.

Net profit here for the three months through Dec. 31 was 862 million rupees ($12.13 million) compared with a profit of 3.06 billion rupees in the year-earlier quarter.

The company reported a one-off gain of 14.14 billion rupees during the quarter, which included gains due to deconsolidation of its payments bank unit.

That compared with analyst estimates of a loss of 6.86 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Revenue rose about 1 percent to 205.19 billion rupees.

For an interactive graphic on Indian telecom companies, click on: tmsnrt.rs/2SZeOzb

Earlier this month, Jio reported a 65 percent rise in quarterly profit.

Airtel shares closed 0.9 percent higher while the broader Mumbai market ended up 1.68 percent.

($1 = 71.0800 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Arnab Paul in BENGALURU; Editing by Christopher Cushing and David Evans

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