The country’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Wednesday beat analysts’ estimates on almost all parameters during the January-March quarter on the back of volume growth in voice and data business.
The company’s net profit saw a sequential jump of 15.49 per cent at Rs 1,290 crore. Total revenue was up 3.7 per cent at Rs 24,960 crore quarter-on-quarter while Ebitda growth increased 8.4 per cent to Rs 9,188 crore. Ebitda margin also improved to 36.8 per cent against 35.2 per cent in the preceding quarter. The company’s improved performance during the quarter was despite adjusting for lower termination charges and higher finance cost, up 23.2 per cent Rs 1,713.9 crore sequentially.
However, narrowing of losses in the Africa operations to $59 million during the quarter compared with $74 million in the preceding quarter, which was largely due to tower divestment, also helped. While realisations on data and voice continued to decline, expansion in volumes offset it.
The growth in India mobile revenues increased 5 per cent sequentially to Rs 14,652 crore.
During the quarter, while voice realisation per minute declined 1 per cent sequentially to 33.25 paise, average realisation per user increased 1 per cent to Rs 138 and minutes of usage saw an increase of 3 per cent sequentially to 415 minutes. It was the same story in the data business. Data as a percentage of mobile revenue grew 23.3 per cent against 23.1 per cent in the preceding quarter. Realisation per MB declined 4 per cent to 22.87 paise but usage on an MB basis grew 2 per cent to 859 MB. Data Arpu (average revenue per unit) saw a 2 per cent sequential decline at Rs 196.
The company’s board approved a plan to buy back shares worth Rs 1,434 crore from investors. FE