Bharti Airtel, the country’s second-largest telecom operator, on Tuesday saw its consolidated net profit declining 62.6% on a sequential basis at `284 crore, missing analyst estimates, mainly due to higher finance cost. The company had also booked an exceptional gain of `440 crore during the preceding quarter.
At `4,082 crore, net finance costs were up 5.8% on a quarter-on-quarter basis and 30.4% on a year-on-year basis, largely on account of increase in average outstanding borrowings.
The company’s consolidated revenues were, however, above estimates at `26,854 crore, up 4.3% on a sequential basis. Its consolidated Ebitda at `13,189 crore was up 4.82% compared with the preceding quarter and once again above estimates. Ebitda margin stood at 49% against 48.9% in the preceding quarter.
The company’s India revenues were also up 2.7% sequentially at `18,828 crore while mobile revenues were up 1.6% q-o-q at `14,306 crore.
The average revenue per user (Arpu) was almost in line with estimates at `146 against `145 in the preceding quarter. The company’s Arpu continues to be the best in the industry, remaining ahead of Reliance Jio’s `138. With the recent hikes in postpaid tariffs for corporate customers and entry level plans for prepaid users, Bharti’s Arpu is expected to further improve in the subsequent quarters.
Apart from Arpu, the company’s data usage per customer and voice minutes per user also continues to be ahead of Jio.
Minutes of voice usage per customer per month declined 0.8% q-o-q at 1,044 minutes. Data usage per customer per month was up 12.4% sequentially at 18,932 MB, which continues to be the strongest in the industry. Total data volume saw a jump of 17% q-o-q at 10,771,051 million Mbs.
Monthly churn saw a slight increase to 2.8% against 2.2% in the preceding quarter.
Of the company’s total 321 million subscribers, 184 million are now 4G users. The 4G subscriber addition saw a 2.9% jump on a sequential basis. Here, due to the impact of Covid-induced lockdown, the company saw softening in subscriber additions as the growth in 4G users in the preceding quarter was much higher at 8.3%.
“While our wireless revenue was impacted by the Covid-induced slowdown in terms of device shipments and a financial squeeze at the lower end of the market, our overall performance reflected the resilience and strength of our portfolio,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, said.
Vittal said during the quarter, the company’s enterprise business in India continued to deliver strongly and its homes business grew by just about 13% over last year and added 285K customers in the quarter, the highest ever.