Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest cell phone operator, reported a 60.9 per cent jump in net income (net profit) during the April-June quarter at Rs 1,108 crore, backed by a 73.9 per cent jump in mobile data revenue. Its net income was Rs 689 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
However, the company failed to meet analysts’ expectations. Analysts expected Bharti Airtel net income at upwards of Rs 1,200 crore for the April-June quarter. Consolidated revenue for the quarter grew 13.3 per cent to Rs 22,962 crore as against Rs 20,264 crore in the same quarter last year. Consolidated revenue from mobile data services, a third of its incremental revenue, grew 73.9 per cent to Rs 2,204 crore.
Bharti Airtel’s revenue from India and South Asia operations, which includes Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, grew 11.8 per cent over a year across segments. Revenue from Africa rose 17.5 per cent when calculated in rupees and 12.1 per cent in constant currency terms. Average revenue per user (ARPU) in India rose by three per cent to Rs 202 at the end of June, from Rs 196 in the immediate past quarter.
Average realisation per minute (ARPM) from voice, an important metric that determines cellular operators’ profitability, improved to 38.08p each minute (up 1.49p over the year) in India. However, average realisation from data dropped two per cent to 28.04p a megabyte in India during the quarter, while subscribers used seven per cent more data than in the immediate past quarter.
Mobile data revenues contributed to 12.4 per cent of Mobile India revenues vis-à-vis 8.2 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. The number of subscribers to third-generation technology services (3G) rose 22 per cent to 12.53 million from 10.25 million in the previous quarter.
Consolidated net debt had reduced to Rs 57,744 crore at the end of June, from Rs 60,541 crore ($9.6 billion) reported till end-March. The ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) improved to 2.04, compared to 2.2 at the end of March. The overall operating margin improved 1.3 percentage points over a year, to 33.6 per cent. However, operating free cash flow fell 12.1 per cent to Rs 3,734 crore. “The industry awaits more 3G spectrum being made available, even as we look forward to the implementation of policies relating to spectrum sharing and trading. These have become essential to deliver sustained broadband growth and high quality service,” stated Gopal Vittal, managing director (MD), India & South Asia.
Ebitda was Rs 7,720 crore, a rise of 18 per cent over a year, with the margin expanding 1.3 per cent to 33.6 per cent. The resultant consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit), at Rs 3,684 crore, rose by 36.5 per cvent, with the Ebit margin improving by 2.7 per cent. Christian de Faria, MD and chief executive, Africa, said: “Telecoms are back to growth in Africa, this time spearheaded by internet and mobile money. Airtel has grown by 12.1 per cent in constant currency terms. Airtel Money transaction values have increased by 4.9 times to $2.2 billion in this quarter.
Consolidated revenue for the quarter grew 13.3 per cent to Rs 22,962 crore against Rs 20,264 crore in the same quarter last year
- Average revenue per user in India rose three per cent to Rs 202, from Rs 196 in the previous quarter