Bharati Airtel has just released its financial reports for the quarter ending December, 2013, and the results are pretty much exciting. Compared to last year, their net profit has increased 115% at Rs 610 crore. After 15 consecutive quarters of decline, this is for the first time that Bharti has actually posted growth in profit. (Airtel website is still uploading the results on their website at the time of writing)
Net income of Bharti for the same quarter last year stood at Rs 284 crore.
Bharti Airtel, which is India’s largest telecom company by subscriber base, had revenues of Rs 21,939 crore in the period between October-December 2013, which is 13.3% more than last year when it had generated revenues worth Rs 19,362 crore. Revenues from Indian subscribers increased 10.3%, while International subscribers accounted for 18.5% increase in revenues. Share market has responded positively to Airtel’s Q3 results, as their shares gained 2.9% after this announcement.
Each Airtel mobile customer in India generated revenue of Rs 195 (ARPU), which is an increase of Rs 9.7 compared to last year. Data userbase in India also witnessed a healthy increase to 54.4 million, which is an increment of 31.2% compared to last year. Data usage per customer also increased by 54.4%.
Consolidated Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation & Amortization (EBITDA) stood at Rs 7093 crore, which is an increase of 22.8% and gross margins on operations increased to 32.3% from 29.8% last year.
Bharti Airtel joint MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said in a statement, “Our efforts over the last 12 months to improve the quality of customer acquisitions have resulted in significant reduction in customer churn. Our focus on superior internet experience has resulted in increased data adoption and usage. Data is now a huge source of revenue growth,”
Bharti’s African operations remained stable as the mobile voice pricing hovered around 3.31 cents per minute and overall revenue per user increased to $5.8. They have some very dynamic and strong expansion plans in Africa as their data services gained momentum there. They have already introduced Airtel Money across all regions in Africa and their biggest focus will be to expand in Nigeria, which is the largest telecom market of Africa as of now.
Last year, Airtel and Reliance Jio had joined forces to share their infrastructure platform, thereby creating India’s biggest telecom infrastructure base.
The main concern for Bharti Airtel as of now, remains the mobile spectrum auction which will start from February 3, 2014. 8 biggest telecom carriers of India will place their bids in this auction, which includes cash-rich Reliance Industries.
If Airtel wants to maintain it’s lead and dominance in Indian telecom market, then they desperately need airwaves in two key cities, which can propel them to higher growth for the rest of the year.