Airtel’s Q3 profit slides 54% to Rs504 crore as price war bites

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Mumbai: Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecoms network operator, posted a 54.5% drop in third-quarter profit as free services from a new rival hurt revenue that was also affected by a cash crunch after the government’s ban on high-value banknotes.

Consolidated net profit declined to Rs504 crore ($74 million) for the three months to 31 December from Rs1,108 crore a year ago, Bharti said in a statement on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected the company to post a profit of Rs1087 crore, Thomson Reuters data shows. Net sales fell 3% to Rs233.36 billion