Bharti Airtel recorded a 60.9 per cent rise in net profit for the first quarter of 2014-15 but still fell short of market expectations. Net profits at India’s largest telecom service company rose to Rs 1,108 crore but its Africa numbers, however, remained muted.
Four years after Sunil Mittal acquired the Africa business of Zain for $10.7 billion, the operations are yet to become large value proposition for Bharti Airtel.
Releasing the first quarter combined results of the company, CEO and MD Gopal Vittal said the biggest concern for the industry was the release of more 3G spectrum to service the expanding data traffic on mobile. “We look forward to the implementation of policies relating to spectrum sharing and trading. These have become essential to deliver sustained broadband growth and high quality service” he said.
Mobile data traffic of Bharti grew significantly by 97.1 per cent to 64.2 billion MBs during the quarter as compared to 32.6 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter of last year. The company now offers 3G services in all the countries of its operations in Africa and South Asia.
Its total revenue rose 13.3 per cent to Rs 22,962 crore in the reported quarter as compared to Rs 20,264 crore in the corresponding period. As a result its once debilitating debt to EBITDA ratio has also improved to 2.04.
“Mobile data revenues now represent 9.6 per cent of the total revenues as compared to 6.3 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile data contributed 34.7 per cent of the overall incremental revenue of the company,” the firm said. For India, mobile data revenue grew 68.2 per cent to Rs 1,559 crore.