UPDATE 2-Dutch telecoms group KPN hails faster network as profit fall slows
* Q3 core profit down 15 pct, rate of decline slows
* Expects performance to stabilise by year-end
* Shares up 2.7 percent (Recasts, adds CEO, analyst comments, shares)
By Robert-Jan Bartunek
BRUSSELS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Dutch telecoms group KPN's strategy of investing in faster networks is slowly starting to bear fruit, it said on Tuesday after reporting revenue and profit falling at a slower than expected pace in the third quarter.
The group, in which Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil has a 21.4 percent stake, said the improvement was most noticeable in its consumer mobile and business operation, though core profit still fell by 15 percent.
KPN cut its dividend to zero last year, opting to focus on investment in its fixed and mobile networks, with capital expenditure equivalent to about 17 percent of expected 2014 revenue. It also sold its German business E-Plus to Spain's Telefonica in a deal valued at 8.6 billion euros ($11 billion).
Third-quarter mobile subscriber numbers rose at the fastest rate for five years, KPN said, increasing by 84,000 thanks to its fast mobile broadband 4G network and more users opting to buy home broadband with a mobile subscription.
"KPN has put the right promotions on the market. There are still price pressures, but they get the benefits of people starting to use 4G," ABN Amro analyst Marc Hesselink said. Continuación...