Bharti Airtel Q4 net profit falls 28 %, impacted by interest costs

Bharti Airtel, the country's largest telecom operator by subscribers, reported a 28.19 per cent fall in fourth quarter net profit, its ninth straight quarterly decline, impacted by high interest costs on 3G investments, foreign exchange losses and intense price competition in the world's fastest growing telecom market.

The New Delhi-based firm reported a consolidated net profit of Rs1,006 crore for fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012, compared with Rs1,400 crore a year ago. Its total revenues rose to Rs18,729 crore for the quarter under review, a 15-per cent rise from Rs16,293 crore posted a year ago.

''The recent regulatory developments in India will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband, as well as India's global competitiveness. The entire industry looks to the government for a fair, transparent and sustainable telecom regime,'' Bharti Airtel chairman and managing director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Similarly, telecom service provider Idea Cellular Ltd, an Aditya Birla group firm, has posted a 13-per cent drop in fourth quarter net profit, impacted by high interest costs on 3G investments and depreciation costs.

Telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance  Communications were also hit following a Supreme Court On 2 February 2012. The apex court cancelled 122 2G licences provided after January 2008 in on grounds they were issued in a ''totally arbitrary and unconstitutional'' manner.

The court also directed Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to make fresh recommendations 2G licence allocations.