Idea Cellular on Tuesday posted better-than-expected earnings during April-June, with net profit at Rs 930.8 crore, down 1.25% from Rs 941.8 crore in the preceding quarter. Consolidated revenue stood at Rs 8,798.3 crore. The company attributed the decline to changes in Trai’s interconnect (IUC) regulations, which have lowered termination charges as well as roaming charges ceiling.
The Trai interconnect regulations, which came into effect from March 1, reduced mobile incoming IUC charges from 20 paise to 14 paise per minute. The company suffered a negative impact of about Rs 317 crore compared with the first quarter of 2014-15, due to IUC changes.
Additionally, the reduction in upper cap for national roaming voice call charges and SMS charges between 20% and 75% and increase in service taxes from 12.36% to 14% during the quarter had a bearing on performance.
Idea’s MD said revenue growth was driven by 4.4 million active subscribers’ addition, expansion of voice minutes at 5.8% and 15% mobile data (2G and 3G) volume growth to 62.7 billion MB. On an annualised basis the company posted 28% rise in net profit while consolidated revenue of Rs 8,798.30 crore in the said quarter was against Rs 7,561 crore in the year-ago period.
The company said average revenue per user (arpu) at Rs 182 (compared to Rs 181 in the first quarter a year ago) and voice usage per subscriber at 408 minutes (compared to 401 minutes a year ago) showed the quality of subscriber base is increasing steadily. Higher mobile data usage at nearly 600 MB per subscriber helped improve the blended mobile data arpu.
Idea has initiated steps towards introduction of 4G LTE services in 10 areas of Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, TN, And-hra Pradesh, Karnataka, MP, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Hary-ana, North-East and Odisha from calendar year 2016.