Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Tuesday reported a net profit of Rs 2,008 crore for the March quarter, a 142% jump quarter-on-quarter, surpassing Street estimates.
The profits, which include an exceptional gain of Rs 147 crore, were driven by a strong performance of the India mobile business. The company’s consolidated revenues were up 5.4% sequentially to Rs 31,500 crore, a shade lower than estimates.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, said, the mobile business revenues were up 9.5% as the company saw the full flow-through of tariff increase.
The country’s second largest telecom operator posted an Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) margin of 50.8% against 49.9% in the preceding quarter. The consolidated Ebitda was up 7.33% to Rs 15,998 crore, aided by tariff hikes.
The company’s average revenue per user (Arpu) saw a jump of 9.2% q-o-q to Rs 178 from Rs 163 in the December 2021 quarter. It continues to be the best in the industry, remaining ahead of Reliance Jio’s Rs 167.6 on the back of tariff hikes and continued momentum in 4G customer additions.
The full impact of the December tariff hikes was seen in the March quarter. Over the past few quarters, Bharti has taken several tariff hikes to boost the Arpu.
The company’s data usage per customer stood at 18.8 GB per month, a notch below Reliance Jio’s 19.7 GB. However, the voice minutes per user per month increased 2.1% quarter-on-quarter to 1,083 minutes, higher than Jio’s performance. The total data volume saw a jump of 4.8% q-o-q at 11,849,334 million Mbs.
The monthly churn in subscribers saw a slight decline during the quarter to 2.8% from 2.9% in the December quarter. The company’s total mobile subscribers rose 1% to 326 million while 4G subscribers increased to over 200 million, a jump of 2.7%. Of its overall customer base, 4G users now comprise 63.9%, having added 21.5 million 4G customers over the last year.
Vittal said the homes and enterprise business continues to exhibit strong growth momentum, reflecting the resilience of the portfolio. “Our strong balance sheet and cash flows have enabled us to further repay some of our spectrum liabilities ahead of schedule and improve our leverage,” the CEO said.
Vittal said the company remains optimistic about the opportunities in the coming years for three reasons: “First, our ability to execute consistently to a simple strategy of winning with quality customers and delivering the best experience to them. Second, our future-proofed business model with massive investments in both infrastructure and digital capabilities. Finally, our financial prudence backed by our strong governance focus.”
The company’s India revenues were up 7.58% sequentially to Rs 22,500 crore, while mobile revenues were up 9.47% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 17,617 crore. Bharti exited FY22 with a consolidated net income of Rs 4,255 crore on the back of revenues of Rs 1.16 trillion.