Bharti’s Q3 profit jumps two-fold to Rs 1,437 cr

VoicenData Bureau
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Driven by data growth, country’s top operator Bharti Airtel recorded a two-fold rise in its net profit at Rs 1,437 crore ($232 million) in the third quarter of current fiscal as against Rs 6,120 crore in the same period last year.


"Airtel's revenue growth in India has continued to accelerate. We remain focused on driving topline through stepped up customer acquisitions with continued focus on churn, ensuring pricing stability, and path-breaking innovations in mobile data," Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for India and South Asia, said in a statement.

The company, which operates in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, registered the highest level of earnings since September 2010.  During the quarter, revenue grew 6% to Rs 23,217 crore over the same period last year.

"Airtel's revenue growth in India has further accelerated to 12.6% in Q3. Our mobile data growth is at 74.3% in Q3," he added.

Data contributed 16.2% of India mobile revenue, up from 14.5% in the previous quarter, and 10.6% a year ago.


Lower finance costs and higher operational efficiency also contributed to the strong profit growth, Bharti Airtel said in the statement.

Over the past several quarters, the telecom industry has benefited from reduced competition, which allowed operators to cut down on promotional offers such as free-call minutes and raise effective call rates. Additionally, a surge in the use of smartphones has pushed up the use of premium high-margin data services, boosting growth for mobile phone operators. These have helped companies, including Bharti Airtel, to improve key parameters such as average revenue per user (ARPU) and average realisation per minute (ARPM).

However, Bharti's African operations saw net losses widening to $136 million from $124 million (Rs 753.6 crore) in the previous quarter and from $94 million a year earlier, due to  forex losses and higher capital expenditure.


"Airtel has continued to grow in Q3 despite economic turmoil in several commodity-rich countries, consequent to a sharp slide in crude oil and metal prices," Christian de Faria, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel, Africa said.

"Significant depreciation in most African currencies especially the Nigerian Naira has however depressed the reported results in dollar terms. We are hopeful that the economies and wallet spends will quickly adjust to the new situation," he added.

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