Airtel, Idea likely to report sharp sequential fall in wireless revenue


India’s top-two listed phone companies, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular are likely to report a sharp sequential fall in wireless revenue in the second quarter this fiscal year, stung by the combined effect of higher indirect tax pay-outs by way of the 18% goods & service tax (GST), seasonal weakness and continued pricing erosion, analysts said.

Bharti Airtel is estimated to report a near 80% on-yr fall in net profit in the September quarter from Rs 1,461 crore last year, while Idea is slated to report a loss for the fourth successive quarter – of Rs 1,166 crore — from a consolidated net profit of Rs 90 crore last year.

The Q2 profit and consolidated revenue estimates for Airtel and Idea are based on an ET Poll, averaging forecasts of five brokerage houses.

Analysts said continued pricing pressure had compounded matters and the modest price revision by Reliance Jio Infocomm had not had any positive impact on the net ARPU (avg. revenue per user) for the two listed carriers.

Bharti Airtel reports Q2 earnings on October 31, while Idea’s date is yet to be finalised.