Bharti Airtel Q1 net profit zooms 40% to Rs1,554 crore

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's top mobile phone service provider, has reported a net profit of Rs1,554 crore for fiscal first quarter ended 30 June 2015, a 40 per cent increase from the net profit of Rs1,109 crore for the April-June quarter of the previous financial year.

Bharti Airtel's total revenue for the April-June 2015-16 quarter rose 3.1 per cent to Rs23,671 crore on the back of strong consumer demand for voice and data services.

Consolidated mobile data revenues rose 56.9 per cent year-on-year to Rs3,459 crore, helped by an 86.5 per cent growth in data traffic.

Bharti Airtel said its India revenues saw a 10 per cent year-on-year growth, led by 22.2 per cent growth in `Airtel Business' (B2B) and 15.8 per cent growth in Digital TV.

Adjusted for the impact in reduction of termination rates, India revenues grew on an underlying basis by 12.7 per cent and mobile revenues by 12.2 per cent year-on-year. Mobile data revenue at Rs2,609 crore recorded a growth of 67.3 per cent compared to the previous year quarter even as its data customer base increased by 25.8 per cent and traffic by 83.4 per cent. Average revenue from unit (ARPU) for data usage moved up by Rs42 to Rs181 in Q1 of FY16, led by a 42.7 per cent increase in data usage per customer.

Mobile data revenues contributed to 19.2 per cent of mobile India revenues against 12.4 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year.

In constant currency terms, Africa revenues grew 1.0 per cent year-on-year. Data revenues stood at $ 128 million with growth of 48.5 per cent on the back of an increase in data customer base by 31.9 per cent and traffic by 111.6 per cent. Data ARPU increased to $3.3 from $3.0 in the corresponding quarter last year.

Data revenues contribute to 12.9 per cent of overall Africa revenues vis--vis 8.8 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Active Airtel Money customer base increased to 7.0 million, boosting the total transaction values on Airtel Money platform by 72.6 per cent to $3.3 billion.

Consolidated EBITDA at Rs8,262 crore grew 6.4 per cent with EBITDA margin expanding by 1.1 per cent to 34.9 per cent, driven by expansion in India margin by 2.1 per cent. The resultant consolidated EBIT of Rs4,216 crore represents a growth of 14.2 per cent, with EBIT margin improving by 1.7 per cent.

Net interest costs of Rs1,139 crore have risen from Rs656 crore in the same quarter last year. Adverse currency movements resulted in forex and derivative losses of Rs780 crore, significantly higher than Rs301 crore in the first quarter last year.

After accounting for exceptional items (net gains of Rs458 crore), the consolidated net income increased by 40.2 per cent to Rs1,554 crore.

The company's consolidated net debt excluding the deferred payment liabilities to the DOT and finance lease obligations is now at $7.64 billion. During the quarter, tower disposals to the tune of $1.34 billion were closed. The board has approved the establishment of sponsored Level 1 ADR programme in the United States, subject to all subsequent regulatory approvals and clarifications from SEBI and RBI.

 ''The year has begun on a healthy note, with underlying revenue growth accelerating to 12.7 per cent in India. Our customer base has continued to steadily expand. Mobile minutes and data traffic have grown by 7.4 per cent and 83.4 per cent, respectively. I am pleased that our revenue growth is broad based across all business units, especially the domestic enterprise and corporate segment, which saw revenues grow by 18.1 per cent, and DTH business which had a underlying topline growth of 26.8 per cent,'' Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said.

''Our capex programme is mostly directed at increasing 3G/4G coverage and improving all-round customer experience,'' he added.