Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net loss during the October-December quarter stood at Rs 1,035 crore. The net loss during the preceding quarter was the highest in its history at Rs 23,045 crore on the back of provisions for the licence fee and spectrum usage charge based on the definition of the Supreme Court of what constitutes adjusted gross revenue.
Net loss of Rs 1,035 crore was on the back of an exceptional charge of Rs 1,050 crore which comprises a charge on account of interest on the provision of licence fee and spectrum usage charges recorded in the quarter ended September 2019 of Rs 1,048.1 crore.
The noteworthy point is the sequential jump of 5.3 per cent in average revenue per user (Arpu) at Rs 135. This is largely on the back of tariff hike the company effected during December 2019, the full impact of which would accrue during the January-March quarter. The Arpu was higher than competitor Reliance Jio whose Arpu during the same quarter was at Rs 128.
“While tariff revision undertaken in December 2019 is a welcome step towards repairing the financial health of industry, we believe tariffs must go up further for enabling the industry to invest in emerging technologies,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel (India and South Asia).
Consolidated revenue during the quarter at Rs 21,947 crore was up 3.86 per cent sequentially, while Ebitda at Rs 9,350 crore was up 4.6 per cent. Margin expanded 30 bps on a sequential basis to 42.6 per cent driven by the December tariff hikes.
The company, which has adjusted gross revenue dues of Rs 35,586 crore, said that it has successfully raised Rs 21,502 crore of funding through a combination of fresh equity issuance via qualified institutional placement and issue of convertible bonds. “The company intends to use these proceeds to augment its long term resources and strengthen its balance sheet. Pursuant to the infusion of fresh equity and long-term financing via convertible bonds subsequent to the reporting period ended December 31, 2019, and available liquidity/facilities with the Group, the management has concluded that the previously reported material uncertainty on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern no longer exists,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
During the quarter, the company’s India mobile services revenues grew 1.7 per cent compared to the preceding quarter at Rs 11,165 crore. India business revenue grew 2.83 per cent quarter-on-quarter at Rs 15,797 crore.
Apart from Arpu, on other key operating metrics also Bharti performed well during the quarter. Its total voice traffic on the network increased 5.9 per cent sequentially at 758,897 million minutes. Minutes of usage per month, per user increased 5.8 per cent to 898 minutes. This is higher than Jio’s 760 minutes during the same quarter.—FE
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