Bharti Airtel on Tuesday beat analysts’ estimates by posting a net profit of Rs 83 crore during the fourth quarter against expectation of a net loss of Rs 104 crore. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 306 crore in the preceding quarter, when it was hit hard by the 57% cut in the mobile termination rates for domestic calls effected by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. But taking only the India business into account, it posted a net loss of Rs 652 crore against a net profit of Rs 95 crore in the quarter.
Bharti’s MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal blamed the trend of below cost tariffs in the industry, a veiled criticism of rival Reliance Jio. “The telecom industry continues to witness below cost, artificially suppressed pricing. Industry revenues were further adversely impacted this quarter due to the reduction in international termination rates,” Vittal said in a statement.