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Bharti Airtel's Q4 loss at Rs 5,237 cr; full year losses balloon to Rs 32,183 cr

Business Finance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Monday posted consolidated loss of Rs 5,237 crore in the fourth quarter ended fiscal year 2020, mainly on account of making provision for paying statutory dues.

The company, which had posted profit of Rs 107 crore in the same period a year ago, said it is monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation closely to identify key risks, and taking immediate actions to minimise any potential disruption to business.

Bharti Airtel registered consolidated revenue of Rs 23,722.7 crore during the reported quarter, and said growth was broad based with all segments registering healthy underlying growth.

The company had posted revenue of Rs 20,602.2 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19. Airtel statement said that March 2020 numbers are not comparable with prior period due to adoption of 'Ind AS 116' with effect from April 1,2019.

The company statement pegged net loss (before exceptional items) for March quarter at Rs 471 crore, and net loss (after exceptional items) at Rs 5,237 crore.

It posted exceptional items totalling Rs 7,004 crore during the quarter ended March 31, 2020 comprising charges on account of reassessment of regulatory cost based on a recent order on one time spectrum charge, interest on provision of license fee and spectrum usage charges, and other heads.

Citing the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) liability case, the company said during the quarter the group has further recorded interest of Rs 870.6 crore, which has been presented as exceptional item.

The total capital expenditure for the just ended quarter stood at Rs 11,339 crore.

For the full year ended March 31, 2020, the company posted a net loss of Rs 32,183.2 crore and revenue of Rs 87,539 crore. At the end of FY 2019, Bharti Airtel had reported net profit of Rs 409.5 crore and revenue of Rs 80,780.2 crore.

Bharti Airtel's MD and CEO, India & South Asia, Gopal Vittal, said, "These are unprecedented times for every one across the world as we battle the impact of COVID-19 and its consequent impact on livelihoods".

He added that telecom has played essential role in keeping the country going during the pandemic, and hoped that government would implement recommendations of the regulator and bring down the levies and taxes that the sector is subjected to.

Bharti Airtel said the company has undertaken a capex investment of Rs 25,359 crore during the year to ensure strong customer experience besides front-ending some investment to ensure seamless services during the ongoing pandemic.

Bharti Airtel said its overall customer base stands at 423 million across 16 countries.

Notably, its average revenue per user - a key metric for telecom companies - was at Rs 154 against Rs 123 in year ago period, and Rs 135 in December quarter.

"India revenues for Q4'20 at Rs 17,438 crore have increased by 14.4 per cent YoY on a reported basis...Mobile revenues have witnessed a year on year growth of 21.8 per cent primarily led by increase in 4G customer base coupled with improved tariffs," the statement said.

The company said that in line with its policy of passing through dividends received from Infratel, the Board of Directors has recommend a dividend of Rs. 2 per share for FY 2019-20, subject to shareholders' nod.

Consolidated net debt (including lease obligations) was pegged at Rs 118,859 crore.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 00:08 IST