Idea puts up a weak show owing to growing competition

Bavadharini K S BL Research Bureau | Updated on January 12, 2018


The stock of Idea Cellular fell over 3 per cent on Monday, owing to its weak December quarter results.

Reliance Jio’s launch, intensifying competition, impacted Idea’s voice and data business during the December quarter.

The company posted a loss of Rs 383 crore for the quarter ended December 2016, against Rs 91.4 crore profit during the September quarter.

Feeling the heat of Reliance Jio’s free services and marginal impact of demonetisation, the company's revenues declined by 6.8 per cent sequentially to Rs 8,663 crore during the December quarter.

While the total minutes of use increased by 7.3 per cent sequentially to 2,09,828 million minutes, there was a 6.5 per cent drop in voice ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) to Rs 114. This led to a decline in revenues from the voice business.

The impact of free promotions by Reliance Jio was even more pronounced in mobile data business as Idea cellular witnessed a decline of 5.5 million data customers for the December quarter from 54 million customers in the September quarter.

While the company witnessed a marginal increase in data volume of 1.3 per cent to 1,08,843 million MB during the December quarter, it was mainly due to the reduction in tariffs by the company. Data ARPU fell nearly 15 per cent to Rs 111 during the December quarter.

While Idea cellular continues to strengthen and expand its telecom infrastructure, debt is a major concern. Net debt of the company stood at Rs 49,138 crore as of December 2016, an increase of 35 per cent over the previous quarter.

The incremental debt has been to fund the company’s spectrum acquisition in October 2016. Idea has added 16,932 network sites (2G, 3G and 4G) during the December quarter.

Published on February 13, 2017

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