Bharti Airtel reports Q4 net profit of ₹759 crore
Bharti Airtel Ltd on Monday reported a March quarter profit of 759 crore from a loss of ₹5,237 crore a year ago, as it clocked higher revenues and one-time gains.
Consolidated revenue rose 17.6% from a year ago to ₹25,747 crore, while India business revenue rose 17.5% to ₹18,338 crore. Both consolidated revenue and profit trailed Bloomberg analysts’ poll estimates of ₹26,164.80 crore and ₹958.80 crore, respectively.
The company’s average revenue per user (Arpu) fell to ₹145 in the March quarter from ₹166 in October-December as the interconnect usage charge regime, which contributes 7-8% to telecom industry revenues, ended on 1 January. However, Airtel’s Arpu rose from ₹135 in the year-earlier period.
“Arpu continues to be the best in industry—Q4FY21 at ₹145 versus ₹135 in Q4FY20 on a comparable basis—an outcome of the company’s focus on acquiring quality customers, as well as up-trading and upgradation of customers to 4G,” the telecom operator said.
During the quarter, the company also recorded net one-time gains of ₹440 crore from the reversal of asset impairments and re-assessment of certain network assets and regulatory levies.
Airtel’s 4G customer numbers rose to 179.3 million by March 31, an increase of 13.7 million from a quarter ago and 43 million from a year earlier. Average data usage per customer stood at 16.4GB (gigabyte)/month, while voice usage was at 1,053 minutes per customer in a month, the company said.
The company’s overall India customer base stood at 350.3 million, an increase of 4.2% sequentially and 13.1% from the year-ago period. Airtel is the country’s second-largest telco by market share.
Revenue from Airtel Business the company’s business-to-business segment rose by 9.7% amid strong demand for connectivity and solutions. “The company continues to expand and grow adjacent verticals such as data centres, cloud, cybersecurity, customer relationship management platforms and video-conferencing,” it said.
Airtel also expanded its home business, adding a record 274,000 customers in the March quarter. “The company’s focus on re-calibrated offerings and launch of Xstream bundles, with content and unlimited internet, to accelerate penetration has resulted in the highest ever net addition of about 274,000 for a total of 3.07 million,” the company said.