Bharti Airtel Q2 net loss zooms to ₹23,045 crore

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2019

Airtel’s subscriber base was down to 279.43 m in the last quarter on a YoY basis a

Company hopeful of government taking a considerate view on AGR issue

Telecom operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel), on Thursday reported a consolidated net loss of ₹23,045 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, its highest-ever loss, as compared to a net profit of ₹119 crore reported in the corresponding period last year.

However, consolidated revenue in the July-September quarter grew by 5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to ₹21,131 crore, as against ₹20,148 crore in the same period last year.

The Sunil Bharti-owned company had delayed the announcement of its results from October 29, due to the ongoing issue on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), post the order from the Supreme Court.

On October 24, the Supreme Court delivered a judgement in relation to a long outstanding industry-wide case, upholding the view of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in respect of the definition of AGR.

Financial implications of judgement

The judgement had significant financial implications for the company, Airtel said, adding that it was hopeful of relief, and in the absence of the same, has provided for an additional charge aggregating to ₹28,450 crore for the quarter (comprising principal of ₹6,164 crore, interest of ₹12,219 crore, penalty of ₹3,760 crore, and interest on penalty of ₹6,307 crore) with respect to the licence fee as estimated, based on the Court judgement, and spectrum usage charges (SUC) as estimated, based on the definition of AGR.

“Despite being a seasonally weak quarter, we witnessed positive revenue growth in the second quarter, on the back of various initiatives aimed at providing superior differential services through our Thanks platform. We continue to witness strong data traffic growth of around 81 per cent YoY and added around 8 million 4G customers on our network during the quarter,” Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, India & South Asia, said.

“On the AGR verdict of the Supreme Court, we continue to engage with the government and are evaluating various options available to us. We are hopeful that the government will take a considerate view in this matter, given the fragile state of the industry,” he added.

India revenues for the quarter in review stood at ₹15,361 crore, which have increased by around 3 per cent YoY on an underlying basis. Mobile revenues have witnessed YoY growth of 7 per cent, it said.

Mobile data traffic doubles

Mobile data traffic has nearly doubled to 4,497 petabytes (PBs) in the quarter, as compared to 2,478 PBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile 4G data customers increased by 57 per cent to 103.1 million from 65.7 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) during the quarter increased to ₹128 in mobile services, as against ₹100 in the corresponding quarter last year.

As of September 30, the customer base stood at 411 million across 16 countries. In India, the overall customer base stood at 3,04,703, down 13 per cent YoY, as against 3,51,539 as of September 30 in the previous year.

Digital TV revenue witnessed 17 per cent YoY growth on an underlying basis (decline of 23 per cent) on a reported basis, due to reporting changes in DTH pursuant to the new tariff order.

Shares of Airtel closed at ₹362.65 apiece on the BSE on Thursday, down 1.59 per cent from the previous close.


Published on November 14, 2019

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