On Tuesday, telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd posted its highest consolidated quarterly consolidated revenue ever, powered by higher tariffs and an increase in data consumption from a change fuelled by coronavirus to remote work.
Indian telecom operators, struggling with low tariffs due to a price war that ensued after the entry into space of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, hiked prices last year as they were forced to pay government dues of around 92,000 cr.
This helped increase the company’s quarterly consolidated revenue by 22 percent to Rs. 25,785 crores compared to Rs. 21,131 crore a year ago due to “good portfolio-geography and segment growth,” a company statement said.
At India’s second-largest telecom operator, average revenue per user increased to Rs 162 for the year, from Rs 128 a year earlier.
4 G data subscribers for the company grew by 14.4 million to 152.7 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
“There were 952 billion cumulative minutes of network use during the quarter, reflecting a 20.5 percent rise compared to 790 billion in the corresponding quarter last year. During the quarter, mobile data traffic increased 58.8 percent to 7,949 billion MBs compared to 5,005 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year,” the company said in a stock exchange statement.
For the quarter ended September 30, the consolidated net loss came in at Rs 763 cr.
When it stood at Rs 23,045 crore, the losses were slightly lower than Q2FY20, after the firm had made provisions of Rs 28,450 crore in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues.
In a statement, Gopal Vittal, MD, and CEO, India, and South Asia said: “We delivered a good performance with revenue rising at 22% year-on-year despite being a seasonally weak quarter.”
He affirmed that the organization remains committed to enhancing business profitability.
On Modified Gross Revenue (AGR) dues, the Airtel statement stated that the Company had represented the government that, as requested by the Telecom Department, it had already paid more than 10 % of the total dues and would ensure continued compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court.
The company’s stocks on BSE closed 0.17 percent lower on Tuesday at Rs. 433.30 each.
The combined sales of Airtel for the quarter could also be guided by an increase in the wireless and enterprise sector and an increase in home broadband subscribers.