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India's Bharti Airtel profit rises first time in 4 years

A Bharti Airtel Ltd. digital TV stands on display at the company's flagship store in Mumbai, India on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Bharti Airtel Ltd. digital TV stands on display at the company's flagship store in Mumbai, India on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

Bharti Airtel, India's top telecommunications carrier, said its quarterly net profit rose for the first time in four years but was sharply lower than forecast.

Bharti Airtel, nearly a third owned by Southeast Asia's top phone carrier SingTel, said it was helped by lower competition and an increase in voice call prices.

(Read more: India central bank surprises with rate hike)

Its consolidated net profit was 6.10 billion rupees ($97.4 million) for the fiscal third quarter ended December from 2.84 billion rupees a year earlier. Net income before exceptional items was 8.32 billion rupees, Bharti said in a statement.

Analysts had expected a net profit of 10.44 billion rupees for the New Delhi-based company that operates mobile phone services in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

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