Airtel Q2 profit plunges 76.5% to Rs 343 cr on tariff wars

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Profit for the quarter ended June 2017 stood at Rs 367.3 crore.

Airtel has warned that financial stress in the industry "continues" and will be "further accentuated" by cut in call connect charges in the next quarter (October-December). These factors will eventually force consolidation among operators and exits as the industry has witnessed in the recent past, he added.

"The consolidated revenues for Q2'18 at Rs 21,777 crore, Y-o-Y drop of 10.4% (reported drop of 11.7%) on an underlying basis (viz. adjusted for Africa / Bangladesh divested operating units and tower assets sale)", the company said.

Mobile market continues to experience value erosion and financial stress led by competitive pressures, Airtel mentioned in the statement. On sequential basis, profit fell 5.11 percent sequentially, the company said in an exchange filing.

However the company said its mobile data traffic has increased fourfold. Mobile broadband customers increased by 33.6% to 55.2 Mn from 41.3 Mn in the corresponding quarter a year ago. "Mobile broadband customers increased by 33.6% to 55.2 million from 41.3 million in the corresponding quarter previous year", Airtel said.

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India revenues for September quarter at Rs 16,728 crore declined 13 per cent year-on-year, caused primarily by mobile revenue drop of 16.8 per cent. Our efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continues and we have delivered EBITDA margin of 32.1 percent, with underlying margins up 9.1 percent Y-o-Y. "Total MBs on the network saw a whopping 65.9 percent increase quarter-on-quarter at 783.8 billion minutes and data usage per customer for the quarter stood at 4,087 MB, higher by 56.5 percent QoQ", Bharti said. Recurring PAT of Rs3.43 bn (Rs 343 crore) was ahead of our expected Rs 2.32 bn (Rs 232 crore) despite materially higher-than-expected net finance costs of Rs 23 bn (Rs 230 crore) (Rs19 bn (Rs 190 crore) expected).

The company has reported net sales of Rs.4383.89 crores during the 6 months period ended September 30, 2017 as compared to Rs.5024.44 crores during the 6 months period ended September 30, 2016.

The fortunes of operators, such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular, have been battered by sharply discounted plans and free services offered by Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, backed by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, that was launched past year.

Ahead of earnings, the stock closed at Rs 497.65, up 0.98 percent on the BSE. Foreign exchange and derivative loss for the quarter was Rs 422 crore compared to loss of Rs 302 crore in the corresponding quarter past year.

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