Airtel post a 135.4% rise in consolidated net profit in Q3

Bharti Airtel, the country's largest mobile operator by subscribers and revenue, has posted a 135.4 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs1,436.5 crore in the third quarter ended 31 December 2014.

The New Delhi-based company had posted a net profit of Rs610.2 crore in the same period a year ago.

The company's consolidated revenues grew 5.8 per cent to Rs23,217 crore, compared with Rs21,939 crore posted during the same period of last financial year.

The telecom operator's India revenues rose 12.6 during the quarter, it said in a statement.

Consolidated mobile data revenues at Rs2,872 crore grew by 61.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, uplifted by higher data usage. Mobile data revenues now contribute more than 85 per cent of the incremental revenues of the company.

''Airtel's revenue growth in India has continued to accelerate. Revenue growth of 12.6 per cent in Q3 is the highest in nine quarters. We remain focused on driving topline through stepped up customer acquisitions with continued focus on churn, ensuring pricing stability, and path-breaking innovations in mobile data,'' said Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO, India & South Asia.

''Our mobile data growth is at 74.3 per cent in Q3. On the regulatory front, the industry has welcomed the announcement of the timetable for the spectrum auctions in March 2015,'' Vittal added.

Mobile voice realisation in India improved to 37.67 paise per minute, up by 0.45 paise year-on-year basis, the company said. Mobile data revenue at Rs 2,114 crore registered a growth of 74.3 per cent on yearly basis in India, uplifted by increase in usage per customer by 38.3 per cent and data (internet) customer base by 32.4 per cent.

Mobile data revenues contribute to 16.2 per cent of mobile India revenues compared to 10.6 per cent contribution in the corresponding quarter last year, the company said.

Africa revenues
The company's Africa revenues grew by 3.9 per cent year-on-year in local currency terms, but the reported revenues were down by 5.3 per cent due to appreciation of the US dollar.

Data revenues stood at $116 million with growth of 34.9 per cent Y-o-Y, led by increase in data customer base by 38.1 per cent and higher usage per customer by 22.6 per cent.

Data revenues contribute to 10.5% of overall Africa revenues vis--vis 7.4% in the corresponding quarter last year.

''Airtel has continued to grow in Q3 despite economic turmoil in several commodity-rich countries, consequent to a sharp slide in crude oil and metal prices. We have maintained our focus on growing customer base and topline in a cost-efficient manner,'' said Christian de Faria, MD and CEO, Africa.

''We are hopeful that the economies and wallet spends will quickly adjust to the new situation,'' he added.