Vodafone India operating profit up 24.5% at over R10,000 crore

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: May 22 2013, 06:40am hrs
Boosted by strong growth in data revenues and voice minutes, Vodafone India on Tuesday reported 24.5% jump in operating profit to R10,640.6 crore for the fiscal ended March. It had reported Ebitda of R8,549.3 crore in 2011-12.

The Indian arm of the UK-based company is, however, still to turn profitable on net basis. The revenues jump 10.2% to R35,885.8 crore for 2012-13 fiscal, against R32,564.3 crore in the previous fiscal. We continue to show a healthy double digit revenue growth driven by strong increase in voice minutes and an accelerated data performance, Vodafone India MD and CEO Marten Pieters said at a press conference.

The companys data browsing revenue grew 50.5% in FY13 to R1,998.8 crore. Data now accounts for 7% of the firms service revenues.

Asked when the company is expected to show net profit, Pieters said: We hope to be profitable soon, we need to see bit more repair of the market before that happens.

There is more rational pricing among operators now with most of them doing away with discounted minutes and promotional offers, he added.

We think we have seen the worst. We think today there is more rational behaviour amongst operators as crazy loss making pricing is going out of market. Also, we are seeing competitors simply disappear which is also good for the business, he added.

Without specifying Vodafone Indias capex during the current fiscal, Pieters said more investments are likely to flow in, in case of greater regulatory certainty. Last fiscal, it invested R4,730.1 crore.

The company has invested over R54,000 crore since 2007, when it entered the Indian telecom market.

We are optimistic about the future if we will be able to resolve the main outstanding regulatory issues like licence extension and spectrum pricing, Pieters said. It had 152.4 million customers as of March-end, including 37.3 million data users, of which 3G customers stood at 3.3 million. The voice revenue saw a growth of 11.1% at R27,592 crore, while the messaging revenue declined 15.4% to R1,336 crore for the fiscal.