Bharti Airtel Q3 net profit sinks 72% at Rs 284 cr

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Profit at Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's top mobile network operator, fell for the twelfth quarter in a row. (Reuters) Profit at Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's top mobile network operator, fell for the twelfth quarter in a row. (Reuters)
SummaryBharti Airtel's reported decline in its consolidated net profit for 12th consecutive quarter.

at Rs 64,282.5 crore as on December 31, 2012.

The company also has to pay Rs 5,201 crore as one-time fee to government for spectrum it holds above 4.4 MHz.

Airtel added 6.6 billion minutes on network during the quarter.

"Despite a negative net additions, the data has done exceedingly well, 0.9 million mobile data customers have been added on the network and the data has grown 24.5 per cent quarter on quarter," Kapoor said.

Shares of the company closed down by 2.62 per cent at Rs 330.50 on the BSE.

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TEXT - Fitch: Bharti - credit positives amid regulatory uncertainty

(The following statement was released by the rating agency: Reuters)

Fitch Ratings says that India-based Bharti Airtel Limited's (Bharti, 'BBB-'/Negative) financial profile could improve in the year ending March 2014 (FY14), aided by manageable spectrum payments and the likely return of pricing power. This is despite the persistence of regulatory uncertainty over the final auction price of the 900MHz spectrum in March 2013.

Bharti's January 2013 decision to double its voice tariff to INR2 per minute from INR1 per minute in phases will help the company to deleverage in FY14. Fitch believes that this move indicates a likely first sign of a return in pricing power, as competitive intensity abates due to the exit of some operators, on-going operating losses for weaker telcos and high spectrum prices.

Regulatory risk surrounding spectrum-related cash outflows is now fading because the government has allowed telcos to pay the one-time fee for excess spectrum over 6.2MHz in phases over the life of the licences. Furthermore, spectrum prices could come down further in 2013 from the reserve price used in the last auction held in November 2012. Such payments too can now be paid in phases as announced by the regulator in late 2012.

Bharti can partially pay a one-time spectrum fee of INR52bn (USD963m) with proceeds from its December 2012 sale of its stake in its Tower arm -

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