Net loss widens to Rs 8,234 cr in FY15
State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) on Tuesday reported an operating profit of Rs 672 crore during fiscal 2014-15 on the back of reduced wage bill and higher revenues. It had posted an operating loss of Rs 691 crore during FY14. During FY15, the company posted a 4.16% increase in income from operations at Rs 27,242 crore, which CMD Anupam Shrivastava said is the highest in the last five years. Total revenues jumped 2.32% to Rs 28,645 crore.
While these two trends show some improvement in the company’s performance — which has been nosediving in the last more than five years — bolstering telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s claims that he’s committed to turning around the PSU, the company’s net loss widened to Rs 8,234 crore from Rs 7,020 in FY14 on account of asset depreciation calculated as per the Companies Act.
The loss could have come down to Rs 5,370 crore if the company would have calculated its asset depreciation as
per the old Act.
During FY15, the company’s wage bill decreased to Rs 14,963 crore against Rs 15,436 crore a year back due to natural attrition. Around 10,000 employees retired during the period. Still the wage bill continues to be around 50% of its revenues, which is very high compared to its private sector peers where it is less than 5%. BSNL has around 2.20 lakh employees.
Shrivastava said the expansion of networks and various other measures including introducing new tariff plans, to revive the company have started showing results. “It had already started on a revival path,” he said, attributing the growth in revenue to network expansions.
The company is in talks with private operators like Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Telenot and Vodafone for intra-circle roaming pacts. For spectrum sharing it has had exploratory talks with Bharti Airtel.
Going forward, Shrivastava said the company plans to spend Rs7,700 crore during the current fiscal through March 2016 on upgrading its fixed-line and broadband networks. The company also plans to roll out 4G services in at least two cities where it has spectrum by the end of the fiscal year, apart from giving out contracts to three companies to run 2500 Wi-Fi spots in the south, west and northern region on a revenue-sharing basis, he added.