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Vodafone Idea reports ₹4,882-cr Q4 loss

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 13, 2019 Published on May 13, 2019

Revenue from operations rose to ₹11,775 crore

Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), India’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, posted a consolidated net loss of ₹4,881.9 crore in fourth quarter ended March 31, paring losses from ₹5,004.6 crore recorded in the sequential third quarter ended December 31. 

However, compared with the previous year-ago quarter, the net loss widened from ₹962.2 crore.

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had effected their merger as of August 31, 2018 to form VIL, and hence the previous year’s figures are strictly comparable.

During the quarter under review, the company’s revenue from operations rose marginally to ₹11,775 crore from ₹11,764.8 crore posted in Q3. 

For the comparable year-ago quarter, the operator posted ₹6,137.3 crore as revenue from operations, VIL said in a statement.

Increase in ARPU

The company’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), a gauge of a telco’s financial strength, rose 16.3 per cent to ₹104, compared to ₹89 in Q3.

The sequential stabilisation of revenues in Q4 benefited from introduction of ‘service validity vouchers’ across the country in Q3, which required customers to make a minimum recharge of ₹35 (for a validity of 28 days). 

As expected, this resulted in a decline of 53.2 million subscribers, as ‘Incoming-only’ or ‘Low ARPU’ customers migrated their spending from multiple SIMs to single SIM. 

This took the overall subscriber base to 334.1 million, it added.

The company’s normalised Q4 operating expenses — excluding licence fee, spectrum usage charges, and roaming and access charges — stood at ₹1,280 crore. 

This is lower than pro-forma operating expenses posted in Q1, the last quarter prior to completion of the merger.

Enhancing network

“We are pleased with the rapid progress we have made to deliver on our stated strategy. The initiatives we have taken since the merger are yielding positive results and we are well on track to deliver our synergy targets two years early,” Balesh Sharma, CEO at VIL, said.

“We remain focussed on fortifying our position in key profitable districts by expanding coverage and capacity of our 4G network and targeting higher share of new 4G customers, whilst also improving cash flows through cost transformation,”he added. 

“The over-subscription of our recent rights issue, the largest in India, is a clear testament to investors’ support for our strategy,” he said.

The company had raised ₹25,000 crore through a rights issue, which closed on April 24. Exceptional items for the quarter included integration and merger-related costs of ₹567 crore, provision of impairment of assets amounting to ₹506.1 crore on account of network realignment and integration, and ₹72.7 crore in other costs.

Published on May 13, 2019
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