Friday, January 29, 2016

Airtel Q3 net down 22% to Rs.1,117 cr

Hit by high infrastructure and finance costs, the country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs.1,117 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, down 22 per cent as compared to Rs.1,436 crore in the same period previous year.

However, revenue of the company rose 4 per cent year-on-year to Rs.24,066 crore during the quarter as against Rs.23,217 crore in October-December 2014, the company said. The revenue gain was on an underlying basis, adjusted for India termination rates reduction and Africa tower asset divestment, it said. As of December 31, the company had a mobile base of 2,43,289 as compared to 2,17,215 in December 31, 2014.

Net addition

“Our focus on acquiring quality customers has resulted in healthy net additions of 8.1 million in mobile. Our strong roll-out of 3G/4G sites has resulted in acceleration of data usage growth to 73.3 per cent. along with data ARPU (average revenue per user) reaching Rs.200,” Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, India and South Asia, said.

Data ARPU in Africa for the quarter in review increased to $3.3 from $3.2 in the corresponding period last year, and the data segment now contributes 14.3 per cent to overall Africa revenue.

“Our smaller businesses continued to perform strongly and grew by 15.1 per cent on a Y-o-Y basis in aggregate. We have launched ‘Project Leap’, a network transformation programme, to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience and reinforce our commitment to build a future ready network,” Vittal added.

Meanwhile, Airtel and Malaysia’s Axiata Group will merge operations in Bangladesh to form the second largest operator in that country.

Axiata Group Berhad and Airtel on Thursday signed a definitive agreement to merge their respective telecom subsidiaries – Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh – Airtel said. As per the deal, Axiata will hold 68.3 per cent controlling stake and Bharti Airtel 25 per cent, while the remaining 6.7 per cent will be held by the existing shareholder NTT Docomo of Japan.

According to sources, the enterprise valuation of the merged entity is estimated to be around $2 billion.

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