Tower business sale boosts Tata Teleservices Maharashtra's profit

Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) clocked an operational loss of around Rs110 crore in the April-June quarter, five times more than the Rs23 crore in the year-ago quarter. Nominally, the company posted a net profit of Rs558 crore, but this includes a one-time gain of Rs835 crore from the sale of its tower arm, 21st Century Infra Tele, to Wireless TT Info Services.

21st Century Infra Tele that had around 2,500 telecom towers. Wireless TT Info is a joint venture between Tata Teleservices, the unlisted parent of TTML that holds a 51-per cent stake, and Quippo, which holds the rest.

Revenue for the quarter rose 10 per cent to Rs563 crore, backed by average monthly revenue per wireless subscriber of Rs165, compared with Rs82 for rival Idea Cellular. However, core business losses increased due to 3G licence fee payments and operations rollout.

Expenditure in the first quarter was Rs750 crore, and the company had made a contingency provision of Rs165 crore towards ''outstanding claims and litigations against the company relating to DoT and other regulators''.

The company commenced operations under the Tata DoCoMo brand using GSM technology in August 2009.

Total sales during the quarter increased 174 per cent year-on-year to Rs1,395 crore.