Business Standard

Bharti Airtel posts 72 percent third-quarter profit drop as price pressure weighs


(Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd posted a nearly 72 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, its 11th straight profit decline on a year-on-year basis, as the telecoms bellwether suffered from continuing pricing pressure.
The deflated results come in at a time when the country's telecoms industry is still reeling from the impact of a price war which began after the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, owned by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
The shake up resulted in industry consolidation such as London-based Vodafone Plc merging its Indian operations with Idea Cellular in a deal worth $23 billion.
Net profit for the three months through Dec. 31 was 862 million rupees ($12.13 million) compared with a profit of 3.06 billion rupees in the year-earlier quarter.
The company reported a one-off gain of 14.14 billion rupees during the quarter, which included gains due to deconsolidation of its payments bank unit.
That compared with analyst estimates of a loss of 6.86 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Revenue rose about 1 percent to 205.19 billion rupees.
(Graphic: India's biggest telcos by market share
Earlier this month, Jio reported a 65 percent rise in quarterly profit.
Airtel shares closed 0.9 percent higher while the broader Mumbai market ended up 1.68 percent.
($1 = 71.0800 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Arnab Paul in BENGALURU; Editing by Christopher Cushing and David Evans)

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 5:51 PM IST

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