Bharti’s profit down 20% sequentially; Arpu up 2.8%

The company’s India revenues was also up 3.64% sequentially to Rs 23,319 crore while mobile revenues were up 3.42% q-o-q to Rs 18,220 crore.

Bharti’s profit down 20% sequentially; Arpu up 2.8%
On minutes of voice usage per customer per month, Bharti continued to be ahead of Jio. (Reuters)

The country’s second largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel’s net profit declined 20% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 1,607 crore (after exceptional gain) during the April-June quarter, missing Street estimates.

As per a regulatory filing on Monday, the company’s consolidated revenues on a sequential basis was up 4% at Rs 32,805 crore, beating estimates. Bharti’s consolidated Ebitda beat estimates at Rs 16,604 crore and was up 4% compared to the preceding quarter, aided by tariff hikes undertaken by the company. Ebitda margin expanded to 50.6% against 49.1% in the preceding quarter.

The company’s India revenues was also up 3.64% sequentially to Rs 23,319 crore while mobile revenues were up 3.42% q-o-q to Rs 18,220 crore.

The average revenue per user (Arpu) saw a jump of 2.8% q-o-q to Rs 183 compared to Rs 178 in the preceding quarter. The company’s Arpu continues to be the best in the industry remaining ahead of Reliance Jio’s Rs 175.7. The growth in Arpu was on the back of tariff hikes and continued momentum in 4G customer additions. Bharti had increased tariffs on certain postpaid plans across retail and enterprise segments during Q2 FY22 while in November 2021, it had increased prepaid tariffs across all price points by 20-25%, including unlimited plans as well as combo vouchers.

Bharti, however, lagged behind Jio on data usage per customer where it had been leading in the preceding quarters. The company’s data usage per customer was at 19.9 GB whereas Jio’s was 20.8 GB. At 19.9 GB, Bharti’s data usage per customer was up 3.6% sequentially.

However, on minutes of voice usage per customer per month, Bharti continued to be ahead of Jio. The usage was up 2% sequentially at 1,104 minutes and ahead of Jio’s 1,001 minutes.

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Monthly churn saw a slight increase to 3% compared to 2.8% in the preceding quarter. However, the impact of tariff hike seems to be stabilising as the company’s total mobile subscribers saw a marginal increase to 327 million. The 4G subscriber base also increased to 205 million, a jump of 2.2% q-o-q. 4G users now comprise 65.2% of the overall customer base of the company.

“This has been another solid quarter. We continue to deliver strong and sustained growth at 4.5% sequentially. Ebitda margins are now at 50.6%. Our enterprise and homes business has strong momentum and delivered strong double-digit growth, improving the diversity of the overall portfolio. Airtel’s strategy of winning with quality customers continues to yield good results with an industry beating Arpu at Rs 183,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) said in a statement.

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“As India gets ready to launch 5G, we are well positioned to raise the bar on innovation. We are also confident of meeting the emerging needs of discerning customers looking for speed, coverage and latency. Our astute spectrum strategy over the last few years as we bolstered mid band spectrum is designed to deliver the best experience at the lowest total cost of ownership,” he added.

On Monday, Bharti Airtel’s shares closed at Rs 704.35, up 0.11%, on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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