Bharti Airtel reports net loss of Rs 5,237 crore in Q4

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 18, 2020

A Bharti Airtel advertisement board   -  REUTERS

Board recommends dividend of Rs 2

Bharti Airtel on Monday reported a consolidated net loss after exceptional items of Rs 5,237 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, as compared to a net profit of Rs 107 crore in the corresponding period last year.

However, consolidated revenues during the quarter grew by 15 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 23,723 crore, as against Rs. 20,602 crore in the January-March quarter last year.

In line with the policy of passing through dividends received from Infratel, the Board recommended a dividend of Rs 2 per share for fiscal year 2019-20, the company said in a statement. This is subject to shareholders’ approval.

The company undertook a capex investment of Rs 25,359 crore on a consolidated basis during the year to ensure seamless services during the ongoing pandemic, Airtel said.

“These are unprecedented times for everyone across the world, as we battle the impact of COVID-19 and its consequent impact on livelihoods. Even at this difficult time, it is our investments in network technologies that has allowed us to keep the nation connected and serve our customers," Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, India & South Asia, said.

The quarter gone by saw healthy revenue growth of 14.4 per cent YoY with mobile business growing at 21.8 per cent, he said, adding that this was driven by two factors - sustained momentum of 4G customer additions of over 12.5 million, coupled with improved tariffs.

"We continue to witness strong data traffic growth of around 74 per cent YoY. It is clear today that telecom has played an essential role in keeping the country going. We are, therefore, hopeful that the government will implement the recommendations of the TRAI and the intent of the New Telecom Policy and bring down the high levels of regulatory levies and taxes that the sector is subjected to," Vittal added.

The company said mobile revenues have witnessed a YoY growth of 22 per cent, primarily led by increase in 4G customer base, coupled with improved tariffs.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) for the quarter is at Rs 154 as compared to Rs 123 in the fourth quarter last year. India Mobile business has turned EBIT positive.

In the financial year ended March 31, the company reported a net loss of Rs. 32,183 crore as compared with Rs 409 crore in the last financial year.

However, revenues during the year grew by 8.4 per cent at Rs 87,539 as compared with Rs 80,780 crore last year.

Shares of Airtel closed at Rs 538.15 apiece on the BSE on Monday, down 2.88 per cent from the previous close.

Published on May 18, 2020

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