The country’s third largest mobile operator by revenues and subscriber base, the AV Birla Group’s Idea Cellular on Thursday beat street expectations on all the fronts while reporting its January-March earnings.
This was largely on the back of strong voice and data revenue. The company’s net profit during the quarter at Rs 575 crore were down 24.73% sequentually. The estimate was that the net profit would be Rs 525 crore. Total revenues were up 5.26% at Rs 9,483 crore.
The company said that after six quarters of steep fall in data and voice realisation it clamped down on promotional offers during the period with the result its realisation on both the fronts improved. Voice realised rate improved by 4.4% from 31.8p/min in Q3FY16 to 33.3p/min and mobile data realised rate improved from 22.3p/MB to 22.9p/MB, QoQ increase of 2.9%.
Since there were lower promotional offers during the quarter, Idea Cellular said it added less number of users which came in at 1.9 milion during the quarter, and the voice usage by its subscribers was modest at 1.2% at 201.6 billion minutes, while data usage grew 5.2% to reach 82.2 billion megabits. However, better realisations had in turn had a positive impact on the Ebidta margins during the quarter which expanded by 3.4% to 38.1% from 34.7% during the previous quarter.
At end of March, Idea Cellular said its net debt stood at R38,750 crore including all defered payment liability for spectrum bought through auctions.
Ahead of the earnings which was released post trading hours, shares of Idea Cellular closed 1.24% higher at R126.55 per piece, while the broader S&P BSE Sensex ended 1.77% lower.