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February 8, 2010

Partner Communications Q4 revenues up 1.6% to NIS1.58bn

Expects higher profitability in 2010 than in 2009

By CBR Staff Writer

Partner Communications has reported net revenues of NIS1.58bn for fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 1.6%, compared to NIS1.55bn in the same period last year.

The company’s gross profit for the quarter decreased by 2% to NIS581m from NIS593m in Q4 2008. Operating profit was NIS432m, approximately unchanged from Q4 2008.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, the company’s EBITDA increased 9.2% to NIS608m from NIS557m. Net profit rose by 1.4% to NIS294m, compared to NIS290m in Q4 2008, due primarily to the impact of the shifting of part of the Jewish holiday season from the fourth quarter in 2008 to the third quarter in 2009 and the decrease in expenses for doubtful accounts.

Service revenues decreased marginally by 0.8% from NIS1.39bn to NIS1.38bn. Data and content revenues excluding SMS reached NIS145m, accounting for 10.5% of service revenues, compared to NIS142m or 10.2% of service revenues in Q4 2008. SMS services revenues were NIS108m, accounting for 7.8% of service revenues, an increase of 27.1% compared to NIS85m or 6.1% of service revenues in Q4 2008.

For the full year 2009, the company reported net revenues of NIS6.08bn, a decrease of 3.5% from NIS6.3bn in 2008. Gross profit in 2009 totaled NIS2.309bn, representing a 5.1% decrease from NIS2.4bn in 2008. Net Profit decreased by 4.8% to NIS1.14bn from NIS1.2bn in 2008.

Emanuel Avner, chief financial officer of Partner, said: “In recent months, the company has undertaken a wide-ranging efficiency and cost review, with the help of external consultants, with the aim of reducing operating costs. We are also beginning to see some early signs of an economic recovery.

These two factors are mainly the basis for our expectation that profitability will be higher in 2010 than in 2009, providing that the regulatory and competitive environment evolve as currently anticipated.”

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