Vodafone Idea Q1 loss widens to ₹25,460 crore on AGR liabilities

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 06, 2020

A Vodafone store in Bengaluru   -  PTI

VIL had provisioned ₹19,440 crore in June quarter towards AGR liabilities

Impacted by an Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) provisioning, Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) posted a net loss of ₹25,460 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2020. This is in comparison with a net loss of ₹4,873.9 crore posted in the comparable year-ago quarter, and a net loss of ₹11,643.5 crore in the sequential fourth quarter.

VIL had provisioned ₹19,440.5 crore in June quarter towards AGR liabilities, the company said in a statement.

“Q1FY21 was a challenging quarter as availability of recharges due to store closure and ability of customers to recharge on account of economic slowdown were impacted,” VIL Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ravinder Takkar said.

“We have launched a new cost optimisation initiative that will drive further cost savings. We also continue to actively engage with the government seeking a comprehensive relief package for the industry, which faces critical challenges,” he added.

Lockdown impact

With net disconnections being lower during the quarter, the company’s subscriber churn reduced to an all-time low of 2 per cent (3.3 per cent in Q4FY20). However, gross additions were severely impacted by closure of retail stores due to the lockdown resulting in subscriber base falling to 279.8 million in Q1FY21 (from 291.1 million in Q4FY20).

The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for the quarter stood at ₹114 per user per month from ₹121 in the sequential fourth quarter.

The company’s revenue during the reporting quarter fell to ₹10,659.3 crore from ₹11,269.9 posted in the year-ago quarter and ₹11,754.2 crore recorded in the sequential three-month period. The gross debt (excluding lease liabilities) as of June 30, 2020, stood at ₹1,18,940 crore, including deferred spectrum payment obligations of ₹9,227 crore.

As of June-end, VIL’s 4G subscriber base stood at 104.6 million, while total data volumes grew by 10.6 per cent (40.4 per cent YoY) to 4,523 billion MB compared to the last quarter. Total minutes on the network fell by 6 per cent during the quarter.

VIL, which holds 11.15 per cent stake in Indus Towers, said the plans to merge Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel has received Foreign Direct Investment approval.

VIL added about 13,000 4G Frequency Division Duplexing (a spectrum usage technique) during the quarter, primarily through re-farming of 2G and 3G spectrum. The company’s 4G population coverage is now about 1 billion compared with 916 million a year ago.

The company has deployed about 59,800 Time Division Duplexing sites in addition to 12,100 Massive MIMO sites and 11,700 small cells till date. Its total broadband site count stood at 446,131 as of Q1FY21 compared to 436,006 in Q4FY20.

Published on August 06, 2020

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