Idea Q1 profit slumps 36.1%

09 Aug 2016

India's Idea Cellular has reported a steep 36.1% decline in net profit for its fiscal first quarter to 4.97 billion rupees ($74.4 million), as spectrum and investment costs weighed down the operator's bottom line.

But Idea, the nation's third largest mobile operator, also revealed that its efforts to cut down on promotional offers helped revenue grow 7.9% to 94.86 billion rupees.

The operator lost around 700,000 mobile subscribers during the quarter, taking its total to 183.2 million, and voice MOUs declined by 1.1% sequentially to 199.3 billion.

By contrast, due to its high investments in the mobile data segment, Idea reported its highest ever net mobile data user additions of 5 million.

The operator also recorded mobile data volume growth of 13.2% to 93.1 petabytes, while mobile data revenue grew by 4.1% to contribute 20.6% of total service revenue.

Over the period, the company added 5,296 4G sites, taking its total to nearly 20,000. The operator's 4G network now covers a total population of over 150 million across nearly 2,000 towns and villages. The company ended June with over 1.8 million active 4G subscribers.

Overall 2G, 3G and 4G mobile data penetration has reached 49 million, and Idea reported a blended mobile data ARPU for the quarter of 142 rupees.

Idea's capex for the quarter meanwhile reached 10.8 billion rupees, in line with the operator's projected capex budget for the full financial year of between 65 billion and 70 billion rupees.

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