Landline monopoly Telecom Egypt has reported a three per cent rise in quarterly net profit, at the top end of expectations.
The company, looking to data services to offset lower fixed-line income, said on Monday third-quarter net profit rose to LE633 million ($104 million), compared with a forecast for 625 million and a restated 615 million in the 2011 period.
The government has an 80 per cent stake in the firm.
Revenue rose six per cent to 2.48 billion pounds, against a forecast for 2.38 billion. Its EBITDA margin of 36.8 per cent was below a forecast for 41 per cent.
"With a healthy balance sheet and strong cash generation profile, we are well positioned and well financed to move forward against our objective of becoming a total telecoms operator as and when government licensing begins," chief executive Mohamed El-Nawawy said.
Telecom Egypt, which has a 45 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt - one of three mobile providers in the country, has been seeking a licence of its own to enter the mobile market directly.