* Q3 EPS C$0.71 vs C$0.51 analyst forecast
* Revenue down to C$198.7 million
* Aastra cuts expenses, R&D spending
TORONTO, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Business communications company Aastra Technologies Ltd AAH.TO posted a jump in quarterly profit on Monday as it slashed expenses and research and development spending to help it cope with slumping sales.
Aastra said it earned C$9.65 million ($9.4 million), or 71 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That was up from a profit of C$2.6 million, or 17 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
The company said selling, general and administrative expenses were cut to C$49.6 million from C$58.8 million a year earlier.
Research and development costs dropped to C$18.8 million from C$29.7 million a year ago.
However, sales fell to C$198.7 million from C$224.5 million a year earlier. The Concord, Ontario-based company said the quarter is “generally seasonally weaker in several of our major markets across Europe.”
Analysts had expected the company to earn 51 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$195.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Aastra also said it plans to buy back up to about 5 percent of its stock and declared a quarterly cash dividend of 15 Canadian cents a share on its common stock.
The company reported results after markets closed. During the day, its shares dropped 10 Canadian cents to close at C$23.81 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson