Bharti Airtel delays Q2 results, sees 28% surge in ARPU to Rs 128

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday reported a 28 per cent jump in average revenue per user (ARPU) at Rs 128, driven mainly by the expanded data customer base, for the quarter ended September 30. 

The company had posted an ARPU of Rs 100 in the corresponding period of the last financial year (2018-19). 

However, on a sequential basis, the company’s ARPU remained flat, against Rs 129 in the June quarter.

The company has postponed announcing its financial results for the September quarter from October 29 to November 14 because it is awaiting clarity on the recent Supreme Court verdict on adjusted gross revenue. It is also approaching the Department of Telecom to seek clarity on the amount involved. Airtel’s data customer base grew 27.2 per cent in the period year-on-year. Data usage per customer rose 42.2 per cent year-on-year.

The company’s revenue from mobile services was Rs 10,811.8 crore in the September quarter, up 7.4 per cent from Rs 10,070.4 crore in the same period of the last financial year. 

In the June quarter this year, Airtel’s India mobile revenue stood at Rs 10,724 crore.

The company’s subscriber base grew to 279.43 million in the September quarter from 276.81 million in the preceding quarter. The ARPU of Reliance Jio declined to Rs 120, and Vodafone Idea is yet to announce the financial results for the September quarter.

The Supreme Court last week upheld the central government’s position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fees to the exchequer.

Following the order, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and other telecom operators may have to pay the government Rs 1.42 trillion in three months.

According to the DoT's calculations, Bharti Airtel faces a liability of Rs 42,000 crore after including licence fees and spectrum usage charges, while Vodafone Idea may have to pay about Rs 40,000 crore. For Jio, it may be Rs 14 crore. The remaining liability is with state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam and some shut/bankrupt companies.

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