Q1 saw the introduction of regulatory changes which impacted the way integrated tariffs can be offered to customers, the company said . There was also a lower rate of growth at Indus Towers following a slowdown in tenancies from new entrants and a change in the pricing structure for some existing customers. Indus Towers is the companys joint venture with Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular for offering passive infrastructure to service providers.
Voice revenues declined to 781 million in the first quarter from 850 million in the previous one, while revenues from data dropped by 176 million from 178 million in Q4 of the last fiscal.
Vodafone, the second largest telecom company in India by revenues, added 32.43 lakh subscribers in the quarter to 153.7 million customers, of which 95% are prepaid customers. Churn rate, which implies the tendency of subscribers switching to other service providers, dropped in the quarter to 73.7%. The total number of minutes on the network that subscribers used increased by 4% to 1,48,042 million.
On June 30, 2012, active data customers totalled approximately 31 million including around 1.7 million 3G data customers, the company said. However, compared to a year back, its data revenues remained constant at 176 million (R1,519 crore) and declined 1% on a quarter on quarter basis.
Its average revenue per user or ARPU increased to R180 as against R179 last quarter and R169 in the previous quarter last year. The company, however, remained silent on the issue of an ongoing tax tussle with the government. It only said that the Finance Bill amendment, that proposed to retrospectively charge tax from the telecom operator, was accepted. It did not say whether it made provisions to pay the tax. The Indian Finance Bill, 2012 received presidential assent and became law on 29 May, 2012.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Group reported a fall in organic growth in the first quarter, dragged by performance in Italy and Spain and Britain. It reported revenues of 10.8 billion (R93,502 crore), reflecting organic growth of 1% from the same period a year ago.
Despite the difficult market conditions, particularly in southern Europe, we continue to make progress in the key areas of data, enterprise and emerging markets, while maintaining tight control of our cost base, said Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group.