Steady tariffs, rise in user base saw the company post numbers in line with estimates.
Like the previous five quarters, Reliance Jio on Thursday turned out a decent set of numbers by posting profit for the fifth consecutive quarter. During the October-December period, the company’s net profit at Rs 831 crore, was up 22.1% sequentially.
Jio, which had been witnessing a decline in its average realisation per user due to tariff cuts, checked the downward slide with steady tariffs and reported an Arpu of Rs 130 against Rs 131 in the preceding quarter. Though the incumbent operators are yet to announce their numbers, going by analysts estimates, Jio’s number is going to be significantly higher than their’s.
According to analysts, Jio has been able to report higher revenue — Rs 10,383 crore, up 12.4% sequentially – because it is still adding huge number of subscribers month-on-month which makes up for its low cost tariffs.
Analysts also maintain that though Jio has been posting impressive numbers, its accounting practises differ from that of the incumbent operators. For instance, Jio does not fully capitalise its assets and spectrum is amortized on a usage basis rather than the straight line method by other telecom operators. Under Jio’s method, depreciation and amortisation depends on the pattern of consumption of expected future economic benefit which is akin to the unit of production depreciation method. This means Jio has determined the total data capacity of its network over the life of the spectrum allocation and the consumption of GBs per quarter will determine the quantum of depreciation and amortisation charge. The D&A cost under this would be lower, especially in the initial years compared to the straight line method.
During the quarter, Jio’s Ebitda stood at Rs 4,053 crore, up 13.4% from the preceding quarter while margin increased 30 bps at 39%.
On other operating metrics, Jio continues to perform on expected lines.
Its data traffic at 86,40,000 million Mbs is sure to be highest in the industry. Compared to the preceding quarter it saw an increase of 12.1%. Data usage per customer was flattish at 10,800 MB against 11,000 MB per subscriber in the preceding quarter.
Jio’s voice volume at 634,060 million minutes registered an increase of 18.95% compared with the preceding quarter. Usage per customer at 794 minutes registered a growth of 4.3% sequentially.
Jio’s monthly churn remains the lowest in the industry at 0.61% per month.
Jio continued its strong subscriber growth trend with net addition of 27.9 million subscribers during the quarter. Its gross adds stood at 32.7 million and total subscriber base at 280.1 million.
The company has already announced to transfer its fibre and tower undertakings to separate companies, following on the lines of other incumbent telecom operators.
“The journey of Jio has been truly remarkable and has surpassed all expectations,” Reliance chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.