Bharti Airtel may cut promotional offers & discounted pricing soon

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Mumbai | Updated: November 01, 2014 11:05 AM

The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel could reduce...

Bharti Airtel reported a 170% increase in its consolidated profit on an annual basis for the September quarter. ReutersBharti Airtel reported a 170% increase in its consolidated profit on an annual basis for the September quarter. Reuters

The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel could reduce promotional offers and discounted pricing in the coming days as it looks to calibrate its volume growth and drive revenue growth in the coming quarters.

Speaking to analysts on Friday, Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel’s chief executive for India and South Asia, said that while the current level of pricing is unstable, the future for voice realisation had to be upwards. “We still believe that there is a clear opportunity to reduce discounted minutes and there is a big gap between discounted minutes and headline pricing,” Vittal said. “We will continue to see any scope to actually do that (increase voice rates) while keeping in mind the competitive pressures and seasonal elements.”

Bharti Airtel had on Thursday reported a 170% increase in its consolidated profit on an annual basis for the September quarter, as the company posted a net income of R1,383.20 crore, its highest quarterly profit since March 2011, on the back of higher mobile data revenue generated by the company.

However, the telco warned its share holders and analysts that the upcoming spectrum auctions could upset the operations of incumbent operators and lead to artificial price hikes if abundant spectrum is not made available.

“The consequence of this (auction) will be that we could have a situation where in large circles, we could potentially be driven by someone planning to create problems,” Vittal said.

Bharti also hopes to break even in its African operations in the next two to four quarters. “Africa is one of the most strategic parts of our operations. And for all practical purposes, if you look at the signs of the development of the African market — be it data growth or m-commerce — you can see that the market is rapidly evolving,” said Srikanth Balachander, global CFO, Bharti Airtel.

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