Idea Cellular Q2 profit up 69%

Idea Cellular Ltd, India's third-largest telecom operator, has posted a 68.8-per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs755.88 crore for the second quarter ended 30 September.

The rise, which surpassed analysts' expectations, has come on the back of rise in subscriber base and increase in data revenues.

The Aditya Birla group company had posted a net profit of Rs447.61 crore during the corresponding period a year ago. The GSM operator's total income rose to Rs7,686.48 crore during the quarter under review, compared with Rs6,385.91 crore recorded during the same period a year ago.

''We have reversed the last two years' trend of sequential revenue decline during the seasonally weak July-to-September quarter due to contraction in voice minutes of use, with an absolute revenue growth of Rs11.1 crore,'' Idea Cellular managing director Himanshu Kapania said in the press conference.

The second quarter of the fiscal is a seasonally soft quarter for the telecom sector, mainly due to the monsoon season. The growth for the sector is now coming from the rural areas, which is dependent on farming.

On a standalone basis, the company posted a 71-per cent growth in net profit at Rs664.60 crore, compared with Rs387.36 crore recorded during the same quarter of last year.

On a standalone basis, the company's total income rose to Rs7,606.71 crore from Rs6,296.45 crore recorded during the same period a year ago.

During the quarter, Idea Cellular carried 162.5 billion minutes on its network, less pronounced seasonal quarterly decline of 1.7 per cent, in comparison to 5.8 per cent minute decline in the second quarter.

Its mobile data volume exploded to 39.4 billion MB on its 2G+3G platform at 21.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth, reaffirming consumer preference for brand Idea.

Idea improved its average realisation per minute (ARPM) by 0.8 paisa from 45.1 paisa in Q1FY15 to 45.9 paisa in Q2FY15.

The value added service (VAS) contribution has improved sharply to 21.1 per cent of service revenue, a gain of 4.9 per cent over last one year.

Idea Cellular added about 1.7 million subscribers to its network in September, according to the data released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).