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Telefonica Brasil meets profit estimates on strict cost controls

SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Telefonica Brasil SA , the country's biggest telephone carrier, said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter net income came in line with estimates because of cost and expense controls that helped offset tepid revenue growth.

Profit rose 9 percent to 1.21 billion reais ($391 million) from the same period a year earlier, according to a securities filing. The number was in line with the average consensus estimate of 1.21 billion reais compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Earnings before interest, tax, debt and amortization, a gauge of profitability known as EBITDA, rose 5.6 percent to 3.62 billion reais in the quarter, slightly above the 3.61 billion reais consensus estimate for the indicator.

($1 = 3.0949 reais) (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler)