Bharti Infratel July-Sept net profit falls 6%

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New Delhi | Published: October 25, 2018 5:22:09 AM

Bharti Infratel, the telecom tower arm of Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday reported a 6% year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in net profit at `600 crore for the July-September quarter this fiscal.

Bharti Infratel, Bharti Airtel, Ebitda margin, Indus Towers, Vodafone-Idea mergerThe company’s Ebitda fell 1% sequentially during the second quarter this fiscal to Rs 1,506 crore, while Ebitda margin was lower at 41.1% against 41.4% in Q1FY19.

Bharti Infratel, the telecom tower arm of Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday reported a 6% year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in net profit at `600 crore for the July-September quarter this fiscal. On a sequential basis too, the decline in net profit is 6%. The company’s revenue fell marginally to Rs 3,668 crore in Q2FY19 compared to Rs 3,674 crore in the previous quarter. On a y-o-y basis, revenue was up marginally.

The company’s Ebitda fell 1% sequentially during the second quarter this fiscal to Rs 1,506 crore, while Ebitda margin was lower at 41.1% against 41.4% in Q1FY19. The operating free-cash flow was at Rs 998 crore for the quarter. Net debt fell to Rs 3,571 crore during the July-September quarter compared to Rs 5,546 crore during the April-June quarter.

However, the company expressed optimism on the road ahead as the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular has led to major co-location exits, which signifies that uncertainty in terms of reduction in co-locations is over. The September quarter witnessed major exits of nearly 55,000 co-locations at Infratel and Indus Towers due to consolidation and merger in the sector.

Following the Vodafone-Idea merger, both Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers have received exit notices resulting in exit of 27,447 co-locations (13.7% of the total consolidated tenancies as on June 2018) on a consolidated basis. “With these, the uncertainties in this respect are broadly addressed. Indian telecom industry is now embarking on the next phase of rollouts. We remain confident of India’s long-term growth potential for telecom sector driven by rising data demand, introduction of new technologies, availability of cheaper handsets and rich content availability to the customers. This would necessitate rapid network rollouts,” Bharti Infratel’s Akhil Gupta said.

Bharti Infratel owned and operated 39,946 towers with 78,275 co-locations in 11 circles, while Indus operated 124,230 towers with 229,136 co-locations in 15 circles as on September 2018. The company’s tenancies fell to 2.06 in July-September, compared to 2.22 in April-June FY19 and 2.39 a year ago. The merger of Bharti Infratel with Indus is also under process. In April, both companies agreed to merge in a deal that will create a firm with an equity value of Rs 96,500 crore, and the combined entity will have the world’s second-largest number of mobile masts after China Tower.

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