Aditya Birla Group company Idea Cellular’s third-quarter profit fell 4.7% to R228.5 crore from Rs 240 crore in the September quarter. In the previous quarter, the company had received dividend payment that led to higher profits after tax and, hence, not strictly comparable.
The fourth-largest telecom company by subscribers clocked revenues of R5,578.5 crore in the December quarter, a 5% rise from the R5,314 crore in the quarter ended September.
“Quarterly revenue rose primarily due to expansion of voice minutes that rose 5.2% to 132.2 billion minutes compared with 125.6 billion minutes in the second quarter,” said Himanshu Kapania, CEO, on Tuesday.
However, the company saw its average revenue per minute fall 41.1 paise per minute from 41.3 paise per minute in the preceding quarter. The challenge on ARPM is on account of fall in the ‘non-voice revenue’ contribution to 14.6%.
Regarding price tariffs, the company said there would not be a headline tariff increase. “There is overcapacity in the sector now. We will be careful and look at what other players are doing,” said Akshaya Moondra, chief financial officer.
Last week, Idea had cut promotional offers, while Bharti Airtel had cut tariffs as companies look to offset high costs by maintaining tariffs.
Idea is still awaiting relief from the Bombay High Court on its appeal against an order by the DoT issued that directed all operators to pay a retrospective one-time fee on the existing airwaves they hold. Last week, the court had given relief Idea Cellular in a similar case till March 1. Idea Cellular was slapped with a fee of R2, 000 crore.
Idea’s share closed at R113.50 on Tuesday on the BSE.