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Why Vodafone-Idea is in trouble despite being India's No. 2 telecom firm

Vodafone Idea yesterday reported a massive net loss of Rs 50,922 crore for the July-September quarter, the highest-ever quarterly loss by an Indian company

Sukanya Roy  |  New Delhi 

yesterday reported a massive net loss of Rs 50,922 crore for the July-September quarter, the highest-ever quarterly loss by an Indian company, on reports that the government has directed the telcos to clear their dues within three months. Liabilities on account of AGR are estimated at Rs 25,678 crore.

For the very same reason, also reported a pre-tax loss of Rs 31,334 crore for the September 2019 quarter, as compared with a pre-tax loss of Rs 1,998 crore a year ago.

had posted a loss of Rs 4,974 crore in the year-ago quarter, while the loss in the June 2019 quarter was Rs 4,874 crore. The operator, which was formed by the merger of Vodafone Group Plc’s local unit with billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd, hasn’t seen any profit since the deal was announced in 2017.

At Rs 24,000 crore now, Vodafone Idea’s net worth is down nearly 70 per cent, from the numbers reported at the end of June this year. The company’s net debt rose by 7 per cent during the period to Rs 1.07 trillion. This, analysts say, could trigger a rating downgrade, which could hit its ability to raise additional debt. This also puts the entire telecom exposure of Indian banks under risk.

Shares of Vodafone Idea, India's No. 2 telecom operator, is under pressure, and ended 20 per cent down on the BSE Yesterday. In fact they has shed 22 per cent in intra-day trade, to hit a new low of Rs 2.90 on the exchange. The stock has tanked 28 per cent in the past two trading days after Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read warned that without government relief, its venture in India was in a "critical situation".

Listen to the podcast to know why did Read make such a statement

First Published: Fri, November 15 2019. 14:45 IST
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