JERUSALEM, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Partner Communications , Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator, reported a 133% jump in quarterly profit, saying it cut costs and expanded sales channels to offset the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Partner said on Tuesday it earned 7 million shekels ($2.06 million) in the first quarter, up from 3 million a year earlier. Revenue dropped 1% to 774 million shekels, hurt by restrictions on international travel that lowered roaming services and reduced activity in shopping malls.
“The strengthening of the fixed-line segment and our status as a communications group contributed to our ability to remain stable during this period,” said CEO Isaac Benbenisti.
Partner said it cut costs by putting “a significant number of employees on unpaid leave” and found alternative channels for equipment sales.
Still, “continuation in the international travel cessation will result in a material negative impact on the company’s results of operations for the second half of 2020,” CFO Tamir Amar said.
The company’s cellular subscriber base climbed to 2.708 million in the quarter from 2.676 in the previous quarter.
The number of subscribers to Partner’s Internet-based TV service grew to 215,000 during the quarter, while its fibre optics network now reaches 657,000 households. ($1 = 3.4026 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer)