Consolidation in the telecom sector, has been favourable for Bharti Airtel (Airtel) as the company, after many years of weak returns on capital, is now set to see a swing in its fortunes.

Consistent market share gains, organic average revenue per user (ARPU) improvements and controlled costs are expected to boost Airtel’s net profit and EBITDA, in the fourth quarter results which are to be announced on Tuesday.

Airtel’s board will also consider the recommendation of dividend during the meeting.

Analysts expect that the consolidated net profit of the company could jump around nine per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) around ₹3,270 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, as compared with ₹3,006 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Consolidated revenue is anticipated to go up by around seven per cent y-o-y to around ₹38,600 crore during the January-March quarter as against ₹36,009 crore, in the same period last year.

During the quarter, the company had introduced in-flight roaming packs, with tariffs starting as low as ₹195 and integrated in-flight roaming for prepaid and postpaid customers, with plans starting at ₹2,997 and ₹3,999, respectively.

In the same quarter, its data centre business arm -- Nxtra – had also announced an agreement with Ampln and Amplus Energy to procure an additional 1,40,208 MWh of renewable energy.

The 25-year agreements were part of Nxtra’s commitment, to achieving its net-zero target of 2031 and further strengthen its credentials as India’s largest chain of green data centres in the country.

Meanwhile, analysts have also predicted that tariff hike, can take place in the next couple of quarters after the general election, which could increase EBITDA by 12-15. A 20 per cent price hike should increase Airtel’s ARPU to ₹270 in the fiscal year 2025-26.

In the last earnings (Q3) call also, Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel had said that the real improvement will come in the sector only if there is tariff repair, especially from 5G.

“It’s not a question of if it will happen, it’s more a question of when it will happen. We have about 65 million users on our network today and this is growing. The total contribution of 5G users to overall smartphones is still low. It’s about 15-16 per cent. We expect that by March, 2025, industry will see about 25 per cent of smartphones which are 5G enabled,” he said.

Shares of Airtel were trading at ₹1,286.55 apiece on Monday at 2:11 pm, down 1.23 per cent from the previous close.