Business Standard

Bharti Airtel defers Q2 result till Nov 14, stock drops by 4.5 pc


Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Tuesday deferred its second quarter (July to September) result till November 14 as it seeks clarity on the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter arising out of a recent judgement by the Supreme Court.
In reaction, its share price fell by 4.52 per cent to Rs 356.25 at 1 pm on the National Stock Exchange.
"The company is approaching Department of Telecommunications to seek clarity on the total amounts involved and request for their support to deal with this adverse outcome," it said in a regulatory filing.
"The board of directors in its meeting held today has accepted the management's recommendation and deferred the agenda item relating to approval of financial results till November 14," it added.
In Q1 (April to June) Bharti Airtel had reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 2,866 crore amid a bruising tariff battle with rival Reliance Jio.
Last week, the Supreme Court sided with the government's definition of AGR that all revenue from telecom companies will be used for calculating the AGR, which is a percentage of total revenue. The court rejected the argument of carriers that the AGR only included license and spectrum fees.
Bharti Airtel's Chairman Sunil Mittal reportedly met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Secretary Anshu Prakash on Monday to press for some relief.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said the apex court's decision will negatively impact incumbent operators by over Rs 92,000 crore. Airtel is liable to pay Rs 21,700 crore.
"The Supreme Court's judgment is the last straw in contributing to financial distress," said Rajan S Mathews, Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
The sector is already reeling under a daunting debt of Rs four lakh crore and is in dire financial straits as operators are making negative returns on their investments, said Mathews.

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First Published: Oct 29 2019 | 1:11 PM IST

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