Airtel Q2 profit falls 4.9%

telecomasia.net

Bharti Airtel has reported a 4.9% decline in net profit for its fiscal second quarter, as the operator cut tariffs to prepare for competition from disruptive newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm.

India's largest operator by subscribers reported a profit for the quarter ending September 30 of 14.61 billion rupees ($218.5 million).

Revenue grew 5.6% year-on-year to 246.52 billion rupees, with India revenues up 10.1% to 192.19 billion rupees.

But while total ARPU rose to 201 rupees from 193 rupees the year before, aggressive price cutting led to a decline in voice ARPU to 140 rupees from 132 rupees.

Mobile data revenues grew 21% year-on-year to 45.36 billion rupees, thanks largely to a 62.2% year-on-year growth in Indian mobile data customers to 41.3 million. Mobile data revenues accounted for 24.7% of Indian mobile revenues for the quarter, up from 21.5% a year earlier.

Africa revenues meanwhile grew 4.7% on an underlying bases. Airtel has divested its operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone over the past two quarters, reducing its African footprint to 15 countries.

“Our strong focus on enhancing customer experience and building a robust network has resulted in continued acceleration of revenue market share. Overall revenue momentum in India has been sustained during Q2 with a growth of 10.1% year-on-year,” Airtel CEO of India and South Asia Gopal Vittal said.

“This is primarily due to the strong performance of our non-mobile businesses, which grew in aggregate at 18.8% year-on-year, albeit our mobile business has experienced a slowdown in growth due to free services being offered by a new operator.”

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