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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 07:36 GMT
Telecom boom boosts Bharti Airtel
Indian woman holding mobile phone
India's phone market, especially for mobiles, is growing rapidly
India's largest private phone firm, Bharti Airtel, has seen profits more than double for the last three months of 2006, amid an Indian telecoms boom.

Net profits beat expectations at 12.1bn rupees ($274m; 138m) in the three months to 31 December, up from 5.44bn rupees a year earlier.

The firm saw subscriber numbers rise by 92%, in a rapidly expanding market.

Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal said demand for telecom services was "robust" and wireless should expand.

"The wireless sector should continue to see record growth," he said.

Shares in the firm rose 2.4% on the news, after hitting a new record in what was a weak Mumbai market.

In the last three months of 2006, the firm's shares rose by 34%, far outpacing the 10.7% gain in the country's benchmark index.

India's mobile market has grown rapidly in recent years, as a growing middle class has increased demand for telecom services including mobiles.

As well as a 10% stake owned by the UK's Vodafone, the phone firm is 30.8%-owned by Singapore Telecommunications.

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