Bharti revenue grows on ARPU, user additions

Telco turns profit on one-time gain

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday posted net profit of ₹1,134 crore for the second quarter ended September, helped by a one-time gain. This compares with a loss of ₹763 crore in the year-earlier period. On a sequential basis, consolidated net profit rose almost four times from ₹284 crore in the April-June quarter.

Revenue climbed about 19% year-on-year to ₹28,326 crore.

“We continue to maintain a high degree of financial flexibility,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia. “As a result, we have now achieved Nil bank debt for our India businesses. We will continue to evaluate all options to maintain a comfortable leverage profile and manage associated costs,” he added.

“During the quarter ended September 30, net gain on account of transfer of spectrum right to another telecom operator of ₹7,221 [million]. Tax charge due to this exceptional item of ₹1,817 million is included under tax expense. As a result, the overall net exceptional gain (after tax) is ₹5,404 million,” the company said in a communique to the stock exchanges.

Bharti Airtel added that India revenue grew 18.3% in Q2 to ₹19,890 crore with mobile revenue rising 20.3% due to an increase in average revenue per user, (ARPU) and strong 4G customer addition. ARPU for the quarter came in at ₹153 compared with ₹143 a year earlier, it said.

The homes business segment also witnessed revenue growth of 21.3% with the highest-ever customer net additions during the quarter to reach a total base of 3.8 million.

During the quarter, Airtel Payments Bank turned profitable with a total customer base of more than 115 million and a monthly-transacting users (MTU) base in excess of 31 million.

The total capital expenditure incurred during the quarter was ₹6,972 crore, of which ₹5,799 crore was in the India market and ₹1,032 crore in Africa.

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