Bharti Infratel on Monday reported a 17% decline in its net profit at Rs 597 crore on a consolidated basis for the fourth quarter ended March 2017. Consolidated Ebitda, however rose by 8% year-on-year at Rs 1,585 crore during the same period.
The mobile tower arm of India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, posted a 11% growth in revenue at Rs 3,520 crore for the January-March quarter of 2016-17 fiscal against Rs 3,182 crore in the year-ago period. For the March quarter, the firm’s total total expenses were Rs 1,936 crore with the largest component being power and fuel (Rs 1,200 crore), followed by rent (Rs 303 crore), repair & maintenance (Rs 229 crore) and employee benefits expenses of Rs 116 crore.
For the 2016-17 fiscal, Bharti Infratel’s consolidated net profit was up 22% year-on-year at Rs 2,747 crore, while revenue grew 9% to Rs 13,424 crore. Ebitda improved to Rs 5,942 crore, up 9% over the previous 2015-16 fiscal. For FY’17, the company’s operating free cash flow grew 13% Y-o-Y to Rs 3,721 crore for the year.
Commenting on the performance, Bharti Infratel’s chairman Akhil Gupta said the Indian telecom market is undergoing a tectonic shift with consolidation settling in and business model shifting from voice to data.
“We are already seeing significant network rollouts to have data coverage and it is our belief that all operators going forward will further accelerate the data network rollouts to have deep coverage to match competition,” he added.
During the last fiscal, the firm said it undertook a share buyback worth Rs 2,000 crore. Besides, its Board of Directors approved an interim dividend of Rs 12 per share for the year ended March 2017 with a cash outgo of `2,670 crores inclusive of tax on dividend.
As of March 31, 2017, Bharti Infratel owned and operated 39,099 telecom towers with 89,263 co-locations in 11 service areas while Indus Towers operated 1,22,730 towers with 2,88,913 co-locations in 15 service areas. With its towers and 42% stake in Indus Towers, the firm has an economic interest in the equivalent of 90,646 towers and 2,10,606 co-locations in India.