Bharti Infratel, the mobile tower unit of Bharti Airtel, on Thursday reported a 62% year-on-year increase in its net profit at R411 crore during the quarter ended December.
Consolidated income from operations during the October-December 2013 period rose 4% to R2,731 crore. At the end of the December quarter, total tower base stood at 82,813 with average sharing factor at 1.96. Sharing revenue per tower per month showed an increase of 2% over the September quarter to stand at R66,760.
The company’s board of directors, at its meeting held on Thursday, approved the appointment of Akhil Gupta as executive chairman. He is, currently, the vice-chairman and MD of the tower firm. DS Rawat has been posted as Bharti Infratel’s MD & CEO. The appointments are effective from April.
Bharti Infratel expects carriers to expand 3G networks in coming quarters as they see growth in revenue from data. “The regulatory environment in telecom sector is improving and more clarity will emerge after the auctions on February 3, 2014. With price hikes and the data revenues witnessing strong growth, the operators have started focusing on roll out of 3G networks quarters,” said Gupta.
Bharti Infratel, which raised about $512 million in 2012 from an IPO, is also expected to benefit from a recent network sharing agreement between parent Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries. Consolidated Ebitda improved 16% y-o-y to R1,130 crore and operating free cash flow for the quarter was at R708 crore, an increase of 30% over the same period last year.