Idea Cellular Q4 net up 29 per cent

GSM operator Idea Cellular has posted a 29-per cent rise in consolidated net profit of Rs308 crore for the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012, buoyed by an increase in voice minutes and data traffic. The Aditya Birla group company had posted a net profit of Rs239 crore during the same period a year ago.

Its total income rose 13 per cent to Rs6,061 crore from Rs5,369 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year.
The GSM operator also recommended a maiden dividend of 3 per cent, nearly after 16 years of operations.

The expenses for the dividend payout would be about Rs116 crore, including dividend distribution tax.

''The growth came in due to an increase in minutes and increase in data usage. Idea's minutes of usage rose 8.5 per cent to 143.4 billion on a sequential basis, while data volume expanded by 13.8 per cent to 11.4 billion MB,'' Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania said.

On an average, analysts had expected the company to post a net profit of about Rs280 crore.

Its churn rate or subscribers moving to other operators fell to 4.3 per cent, compared with two quarters back, when it about 10.1 per cent.

The voice tariffs remained flat at 41.2 paise for the quarter, as compared to 41.1 paisa, in the third quarter.

For the 12-month period ended 31 March 2013, the company posted a net profit of Rs 1,011 crore, a 39.6 per cent growth, compared with Rs 723 crore a year back. Its total income grew by 15 per cent to Rs 22,457 crore as compared to Rs 19,541 crore.

The company has earmarked about Rs 3,500 crore as capital expenditure for the current financial year, compared with Rs 3,000 crore a year ago.

''We will not need to raise anymore funds if there are no auctions,'' said Akshay Moondra, chief financial officer of Idea Cellular. The capex will be used for improving 2G, 3G and fibre infrastructure.