Idea profit rises 3.8% on data, subscriber growth

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 21 2014, 07:28am hrs
The countrys third-largest mobile operator, AV Birla groups Idea Cellular, beat street estimates on Monday by posting a 3.8% sequential rise in consolidated net profit for the July-September quarter on the back of high subscriber and data growth. Consolidated net profit stood at Rs 755.9 crore in a quarter seen as traditionally weak for operators. During the period, the company's consolidated revenues increased 0.12% to Rs 7,570 crore.

On a year-on-year basis, net profit was up 69% while revenues registered 19.7% growth.

The consolidated financial results include the financial performance of tower infrastructure company Indus, a three-way joint venture between Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone.

On a standalone basis, the company reported a profit of Rs 779.40 crore during the quarter, down from the Rs 1,011.70 crore it posted in the previous quarter. Standalone revenue stood at Rs 7,567.30 crore, up from Rs 7,556 crore in the previous quarter.

Revenue growth came on the back of a 17% annual increase in voice minutes of usage (MOU) and 125.9% growth in mobile data volume, Idea Cellular said in a statement.

During the quarter, the company added 4.6 million net new customers as its average revenue per user (ARPU) rose to Rs 176 from Rs 164 during the previous year. The minutes of usage (MOU) per subscriber increased to 384 minutes from the 368 minutes it reported in the same period previous year.

Value-added service (VAS) contributed 21.1% to the service revenue during the quarter, up 4.9% over the last one year.

Mobile data grew to 39.4 billion MB on the carriers second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) data connections, registering 21.3% sequential growth. Data volume grew 21% from the previous quarter. The mobile data consumer base grew by 3.1 million to 30.9 million during the quarter on the back of an improved usage per data subscriber across 2G and 3G platforms to 447 MB while data ARPU stood at Rs 119.

The jump in data revenue, which also contributed to the 14% increase in service revenue, saw the companys average revenue per user (ARPM) for the data segment improve 0.80 paisa sequentially to Rs 45.9 paisa during the September quarter.

Idea Cellular has reversed the last two years trend of sequential revenue decline during the seasonally weak July to September quarter due to contraction in Voice Minutes of Use, the telco said in a statement.

During this quarter, the company carried 162.5 billion minutes on its network, less pronounced seasonal quarterly decline of 1.7%, in comparison to 5.8% decline in the second quarter of FY 2014 as compared to the first quarter of the last fiscal,

it added.

The Idea Cellular stock closed at Rs 161.05 apiece, up 4.61% on the BSE on Monday. The benchmark Sensex closed at 26,429.85, up 1.23% from the previous days close.