Bharti Airtel (Airtel) is expected to report a modest growth in both its consolidated net profit and revenue for the fourth quarter ended March 31, according to analysts.

Most retailers stated that Airtel’s discontinuation of the ₹99 plan, which in turn raised the entry-level pack price to ₹155, has resulted in limited churn.

For the fourth quarter, the average revenue per user (ARPU) is also likely to be steady at ₹193 with benefits of improving subscriber mix being offset by lower number of days in the quarter.

Airtel’s consolidated EBITDA is estimated to decline by one per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) or over 14 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to ₹18,300 crore.

“We expect Bharti’s India revenue to rise 0.9 per cent QoQ (+11.4 per cent YoY) to ₹25,400 crore led by the mobile segment (+0.8 per cent QoQ/+10.7 per cent YoY). India EBITDA is estimated to be up 0.7 per cent QoQ (+16.1 per cent YoY) to ₹13,300 crore),” said ICICI securities in its report.

During the third quarter, Airtel had reported a 91.5 per cent YoY jump in its consolidated net profit at ₹1,588 crore as compared with ₹830 crore in the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Revenue from operations also had increased by 20 per cent YoY to ₹35,804 crore during the third quarter as against ₹29,867 crore October-December quarter in 2021.

“We expect Bharti Airtel to benefit from the 5G launch, subscriber gain from Vodafone Idea, robust growth in the Homes, Enterprise and Africa businesses, with FY22-25 CAGR of 25 per cent, 14 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively,” said Emkay Global Financial Services in a report recently.

According to Morgan Stanley, over the last 12 months, Airtel has gained around 33 per cent of the subscribers lost by Vodafone Idea and BSNL.

In the broadband segment, Airtel had the highest mobile broadband net additions of 2.2 million for the sixth straight month in February and 5 million net adds in the fourth quarter (till February) versus 8.9 million in the third quarter.

“For the consolidated entity, we expect capex of ₹10,660 crore (+14 per cent QoQ) led by increased capex in India mobile services and projected net debt (as per the company’s reporting standards) to be marginally lower at $24.95 billion ($25.33 billion as of December FY22 quarter). The decrease in net debt factors in free cash flow generation of $380 million during fourth quarter FY23,” it said.