The News International Team
Bharti Airtel surpassed street expectations on the bottomline front on Wednesday but its Q3 topline and operating performance was slightly below estimates. Consolidated net profit of the India’s largest telecom operator grew 4 percent sequentially to Rs 1,437 crore despite exceptional loss of Rs 292.1 crore during October-December quarter.
A poll of CNBC-TV15 had estimated profit at Rs 1,266 crore on revenue of Rs 23,440 crore for the quarter.
Consolidated revenue increased 1.6 percent to Rs 23,217 crore in the quarter quarter ended December 2014 compared to Rs 22,845.2 crore in previous quarter.
Operating profit registered a 1 percent sequential increase at Rs 7,785.7 crore and margin declined 20 basis points at 33.5 percent during the quarter as against forecast of Rs 7,910 crore and 33.7 percent, respectively.
India wireless revenue and margins were inline with estimates, though volume growth was very subdued at 1.36 percent (as against its peers Idea at 5.1 percent).
Company managed to maintain voice revenue per minute, which was a positive (Idea had reported a decline in RPM). Data growth continued to remain explosive at 14.2 percent, though moderated from pervious quarter’s volume growth of 21.7 percent.
Revenue from its India wireless grew 4.19 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 13,163.5 crore with operating profit rising 5.8 percent to Rs 4,879 crore and margin expanding 56 bps at 37.06 percent in the quarter ended December 2014.
India wireless Key Performance Indicators
Volume growth was 1.36 percent at 267.485 billion minutes during the quarter. Average revenue per user rose 2 percent to Rs 202 crore and voice revenue per minute stood at 37.67 paise (as against 37.69 paise Q-o-Q).
Minutes of usage per subscriber declined to 416 minutes from 418 minutes on sequential basis.
Bharti’s data volume growth was 14.2 percent quarter-on-quarter at 77,281 million MBs in the quarter gone by. Data usage per customer increased 10.5 percent to 622 MBs and realization per MB grew 2.6 percent to 27.36 paise (from 26.67 paise) during the same period.
Africa has still been struggling; missing estimates on all counts as revenue declined 1 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 6,827.6 crore and operating profit slipped 175 basis points to 21.9 percent (could be the lowest since Bharti acquired Africa business). Analysts had expected revenue at Rs 7,110 crore and margin at 23.4 percent for the quarter.
Dollar revenue fell 3.2 percent to USD 1,103 million in Q3FY15 from USD 1,140 million in previous quarter.