Bharti net falls 26%, Arpu jumps to Rs 193

The company’s India revenues were up 2.6% sequentially to Rs 24,962 crore while mobile revenues were up 2.5% q-o-q to Rs 19,353 crore.

Bharti Airtel, airtel, arpu, Consolidated Ebitda, ebitda
The company’s spectrum charges/licence fee fell 3.7% q-o-q to Rs 2,842 crore. (Image/Reuters)

Bharti Airtel’s net profit in the October-December quarter fell 26% q-o-q to Rs 1,588 crore, missing Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 2,114.5 crore. This was on account of higher expenses and an exceptional charge of Rs 670 crore on account of provision for licence fee related to earlier periods for one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Consolidated revenues beat estimates and rose 4% sequentially to Rs 35,804 crore owing to strong additions in the 4G subscribers and increase in average spends by consumers on its network. During the quarter, the company witnessed growth across all its verticals. Bloomberg had pegged revenues at Rs 35,726.7 crore.

Consolidated Ebitda was in line with estimates at Rs 18,601 crore and was up 5% sequentially aided by increase in revenues. Ebitda margin expanded by 70 basis points to 52% from 51.3% in the preceding quarter on the back of lower spectrum usage charge. The company’s spectrum charges/licence fee fell 3.7% q-o-q to Rs 2,842 crore.

The company’s India revenues were up 2.6% sequentially to Rs 24,962 crore while mobile revenues were up 2.5% q-o-q to Rs 19,353 crore.

The average revenue per user (Arpu) rose 1.6% sequentially to Rs 193 compared to Rs 190 in the preceding quarter. The company’s Arpu continues to be the best in the industry, remaining ahead of Reliance Jio’s Rs 178.2. The growth in Arpu was on the back of continued momentum in 4G customer additions and upgrades of mobile plans from customers.

During the quarter, Bharti continued to lag behind Jio on data usage per customer. Its data usage per customer was at 20.78 GB whereas Jio’s was 22.4 GB. Bharti’s data usage per customer was up 0.1% sequentially.

On minutes of voice usage per customer per month, Bharti continued to be ahead of Jio. Bharti Airtel’s average minute of usage on the network rose 1.1% sequentially to 1,094 minutes per user per month. Comparatively, Jio’s average voice consumtpion on the network rose 1.7% q-o-q to 985 minutes.

Bharti Airtel’s monthly churn of subscribers fell to 3% compared to 3.3% in the preceding quarter. On a net basis, the company’s total mobile subscribers in India rose 1.4% q-o-q to 332.24 million, aided by additions in 4G subscribers. In the December quarter, the company’s 4G subscriber base increased to 216.7 million, a jump of 3.1% sequentially. 4G users now comprise 67.8% of the overall mobile customer base of the company in the country.

“We have delivered another quarter of consistent and competitive growth across all our businesses. Our strategy of winning quality customers has helped us add 6.4 million 4G customers and exit the quarter with an industry leading Arpu of Rs 193. Postpaid, enterprise, homes as well as our Africa business sustained their momentum while the DTH business showed signs of growth in an industry that continues to be under pressure,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), said in a statement.

“Our overall performance is testimony to the breadth and diversity of our portfolio that spans across both geographies as well as businesses. Our 5G rollout is on track to cover all towns and key rural areas by March 2024,” Vittal added.

In the December quarter, the company’s revenue from the wired broadband service rose 4.5% q-o-q to Rs 1,034.3 crore.

The company has been adding new subscribers in the home broadband space by leveraging its network of franchisees. The number of home broadband users jumped 8.3% sequentially to 5.6 million. “We continue to accelerate our rollouts on the back of innovative asset light local cable operators partnership model, we are now live in 1,140 cities via this model,” the company said.

The company’s Airtel Business segment, which hosts all its enterprise offerings, saw a 2.4% q-o-q revenue growth to Rs 4,778 crore.

Airtel’s direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcasting service, Airtel Digital, saw a pick up in the operations during the quarter. Revenue from this business rose 1.4% q-o-q to Rs 739 crore. Total DTH user base rose 1.4% q-o-q to 15.98 million.

“Digital TV business has added 214,000 customers — highest in last 8 quarters in a challenging industry. This is a result of the company’s strategy of simplified pricing and differentiated converged experience to win high value customers. Focus on high value channels and quality acquisitions has yielded customer gains leading to an overall base at 16 million at the end of the quarter,” the company said.

On Tuesday, Bharti Airtel’s shares closed 0.5% lower at Rs 785.35 on the BSE.

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.

First published on: 08-02-2023 at 03:35 IST