Idea Cellular, India's fourth-largest mobile phone carrier by subscribers, reported a 48.53-per cent decline in net profit for the second quarter, impacted by high interest rates and operational costs.
The Aditya Birla group firm posted a a net profit of Rs79.3 crore in the September quarter on a standalone basis, compared with Rs154.1 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.
The company said in a stock exchange filing, "The challenging external environment pushed the profit after tax (PAT) on a standalone basis down to Rs79.3 crore against Rs1,541 million in the previous quarter, on account of net high interest and financial cost."
Idea and major operators like Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications had raised telephone tariffs by about 20 per cent in July. The hikes came after nearly two years of a price war that had driven down call charges, in some cases to less than one US cent a minute.
On a standalone basis, the firm had 100.2 million users at the end of September, up from 95.1 million three months earlier and 74.2 million a year ago.
Its average minutes of use (MoU) per subscriber, a metric for business volumes, fell 6.9 percent sequentially to 364 minutes from 394 a year ago. Its average revenue per user too fell, to Rs155 rupees from Rs167 a year earlier.