Bharti Airtel on Tuesday reported a 4.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,461 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2016, mainly on account of higher spectrum amortisation, increase in net interest costs and devaluation of Nigerian currency. The profit figure, however, was much better than Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 1,229 crore.
The Sunil Bharti Mittal-owned company had reported a net profit of Rs 1,536 crore in the corresponding year-ago period.
The net profit beat was largely on account of better-than-expected operating performance. Cost savings helped the firm post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of Rs 9,466 crore versus Rs 8,265 crore in the year-ago quarter. Total revenues of the company rose 3.4 per cent to Rs 24,652 crore for the reported period compared to Rs 23,836 crore last year, though marginally lower than estimates of Rs 24,786 crore.
The firm said its mobile business in India has experienced a slowdown in growth due to free services being offered by a new operator (Reliance Jio).
“Net interest costs of Rs 1,603 crore have risen from Rs 1,053 crore in the corresponding quarter last year largely due to increased spectrum related interest costs,” Airtel said.
Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel, said overall revenue momentum in India has been sustained during the second quarter with a 10.1 per cent y-o-y growth. “This is primarily due to the strong performance of our non-mobile businesses, which grew in aggregate at 18.8 per cent y-o-y, though our mobile business has experienced a slowdown in growth due to free services being offered by a new operator. But, we remain excited about the long-term opportunity in India and believe that with the recently acquired spectrum, we’re well positioned to lead India’s data revolution.”
India revenues during the quarter ended September 30 grew 10.1 per cent to Rs 19,219 crore on a y-o-y basis.
The company said its India business grew on account of 20.9 per cent growth in digital TV, 19.2 per cent in Airtel Business, 14.9 per cent in homes and 7.9 per cent in mobile, on a y-o-y basis.
Airtel said consolidated revenue growth was muted at 3.3 per cent on account of full quarter impact of Nigeria currency devaluation.
Consolidated mobile data revenues grew 21 per cent, y-o-y, to Rs 4,536 crore.
“Mobile Data revenues now contribute to 24.7 per cent of Mobile India revenues vis-a-vis 21.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year,” Airtel said.