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UPDATE 2-America Movil surprises with 80% profit jump

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* EBITDA up 1.3%, company adds 6.8 mln subscribers

* Net profit hits $1.87 bln

* America Movil spins off mobile towers into new entity(Adds analyst reaction)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Mexican telecommunicationsfirm America Movil on Tuesday reported a surprise netprofit of $1.87 billion in the fourth quarter, driven up nearly80% by a favorable exchange rate.

The company, which is controlled by the family of Mexicanbillionaire Carlos Slim, reported the bonanza despite salesfalling by 3.1% from the same quarter last year to 255 billionpesos.

Net profit rose to 37.3 billion pesos ($1.87 billion) from20.8 billion pesos for the same period a year earlier, anincrease of 79.6%.

The company cited exchange gains due to the strengthening ofthe Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar and the euro.

Mexican financial group Grupo Financiero Banorte hadforecast net profit falling to 17.7 billion pesos. AmericaMovil's sales slightly underperformed Banorte's forecast of258.7 billion pesos for the quarter.

Local brokerage Monex noted a significant increase inpostpaid mobile subscribers underpinning America Movil'searnings.

"We added 6.8 million wireless subscribers in the quarter,double the number in the previous quarter... including 2.7million mobile postpaid subscribers," the company said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization(EBITDA) grew 1.3% in peso terms during the October to Decemberperiod.

"These figures validate an important recovery in theservices segment," Monex said in a client note.

However, with exchange rate fluctuations driving the profit,it said the report was "neutral."

In the core market of Mexico, America Movil's base ofpostpaid customers grew 1.3% year-over-year and its prepaid baseincreased 1.1%. The company added 1.2 million subscribers,nearly all prepaid, to end the year with 77.8 millionsubscribers.

America Movil's board of directors also approved an assetreorganization plan on Tuesday for its Latin American towers,creating a spin-off entity focused on the development,construction and locations of the towers for mobile services,the company said.

It expects to complete the reorganization in 2021.

($1= 19.9500 pesos at end-December)(Reporting by Noe Torres, Abraham Gonzalez and CassandraGarrisonEditing by Drazen Jorgic and Rosalba O'Brien)