Airtel posts 19% jump in ARPU after removing low-paying users from network

The high point in the telecom company’s results was its domestic wireless number
Bharti Airtel reported a rise of 18.6 per cent in its average revenue per user (ARPU) to Rs 123 in the quarter ended March 31 (from the same period a year before) as it removed low-paying users from its network.

Net profit rose 29 per cent to Rs 107 crore in the quarter. The market had anticipated a loss in the range of Rs 700 crore. The firm said the jump was mainly due to gain from exceptional items. 

The high point in the telecom company’s results was its domestic wireless number. The business grew 4.1 per cent from the earlier quarter, to Rs 10,632 crore — showing Airtel had narrowed the gap with Reliance Jio in this segment. Jio had standalone revenue from operations at Rs 11,106 crore in the quarter, a rise of 7 per cent from the earlier quarter.

Airtel, however, lost its second position in the sector to Jio in the quarter as the latter’s subscriber base expanded more. Vodafone Idea continues to be the country’s largest telecom company.

Revenue was Rs 20,602 crore, up 6.2 per cent from the same quarter in 2017-18. Exceptional items in the quarter comprise a charge of Rs 145 crore towards operating cost on network refarming and upgrade, and a credit of Rs 2,168 crore on reassessment of levies, based on a recent pronouncement on how to determine these.  For 2018-19, the net profit fell 62.7 per cent to Rs 409.5 crore, from Rs 1,099 crore in 2017-18. 

Revenue in FY19 was Rs 80,780 crore, down 2.2 per cent. Borrowing during Q4 was Rs 87,245 crore; it was Rs 84,942 crore in the same quarter of FY18.  

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel