Idea Cellular springs a surprise as Q1 profit rises on telecom tower sale

A woman speaks on her mobile phone as she walks past a shop displaying the Idea Cellular Ltd's logo on its shutter in Kolkata | Photo: Reuters

India's Idea Cellular Ltd reported a surprise quarterly profit on Monday, helped by a one-time gain from the sale of its telecom towers.

Net profit came in at Rs 2.57 billion ($37.43 million) for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a net loss of Rs 8.15 billion last year, Idea said in a statement. 

Analysts, on average, were expecting a net loss of Rs 13.71 billion, according to estimates by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue from operations fell about 28 per cent to Rs 58.89 billion, with the mobile carrier hit by an aggressive pricing war set in motion by the entry of deep-pocketed rival Reliance Jio.