The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, on Thursday beat analysts’ estimates by posting a sequential 24.8% rise in net profit at Rs 1,383 crore during the July-September quarter mainly on the back of higher data revenue, lower finance cost and reduction in forex losses. Total revenues during the period declined 0.51% at R22,845 crore on a sequential basis. On a yearly basis, the company’s net profit grew 170.2% and revenue by 7.1%.
The company’s consolidated mobile data revenue, which
grew by 66.7%, year-on-year,
during the quarter, stood at R2,540 crore, registering growth across geographies, a Bharti Airtel statement said on Thursday.
Bharti Airtel, which has operations spread across 20 countries in Asia and Africa, also reported an 8.8% increase in its customer base to 303.7 million, on a yearly basis, during the quarter.
The company said that its India revenues were up 12.3%, while its Africa revenues were up by 6.4% in local currency terms, y-o-y, during the period.
Mobile data sales, including at its Africa operations, rose 67% to R2,540 crore, contributing more than two-thirds of the incremental revenue, the company said. Mobile data revenue at R1,805 crore in India increased 74% on a yearly basis, on the back of a 43% increase in the number of users and a 31% jump in usage per customer, it said.
Mobile data revenues contributed 14.5% of mobile India revenues compared to 9.4% in the corresponding period last year.
The company’s average revenue per user at R198 during the quarter was down 2% compared to the preceding quarter and minutes of usage was also lower by 4% on a sequential basis at 418.
The quarter, which is seasonally seen as weak for the mobile operators, saw the voice realisation per minute come down by 1% at 37.69 paise on a sequential basis. However, this was up 2% on a yearly basis.
“We continue to see strong momentum in mobile data,” Gopal Vittal, chief executive officer for India and South Asia, said in the statement. The company’s introduction of fourth-generation services in 15 cities “is now witnessing stronger customer acceptance,” he said.
On the regulatory front, Vittal said the recent Trai recommendations on making more contiguous spectrum available in the upcoming auctions have the potential of transforming the industry.
Bharti Airtel’s shares closed rose 0.58% to R407.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange closed at an all-time high of 27,346.33, up 0.92% from the previous close.