India’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel on Wednesday reported its 11th consecutive quarter of profit decline at Rs. 721 crore, with margins pressured by intense competition. Net profit fell 30% year-on-year compared to the year-ago period.
Revenues, however, grew 17.4% at Rs. 20,273 crore during the July-September quarter compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, mainly due to a 77% growth in domestic mobile data services, 26% growth in the B2B (business-to-business) segment, 26% in digital TV and 29% in its African operations."I am happy to note that in India, the much-needed market corrections in customer acquisition practices have been put in place by operators," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman & managing director, Bharti Airtel.
“Our African operations continue to reflect sustained and steady growth on all major parametres of revenues, profitability and cash flow.”
The company will be required to pay a one-time fee for spectrum that it holds beyond 4.4 MHz. Though the exact amount will be known only after the auctions, the company will have to shell out a considerable amount for it. Moreover, it will have to pay licence fee for refarming of spectrum and renewal of licences. This is likely to put it under a lot of financial pressure.
The company’s shares were little changed and ended down 0.7% at Rs. 271 on the BSE.