Voda Idea's loss jumps 4 times to Rs 25,460 cr in Q1; revenue falls 5.4%

Vodafone Idea’s AGR liability stands at Rs 58,254 crore after the Supreme Court rejected the firm’s plea for reassessing dues last month
Vodafone Idea reported a pre-tax loss of Rs 25,460 crore and complete erosion of its net worth in the first quarter of financial year 2020-21 (Q1FY21) because of provisioning for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability.

The result indicated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, but its overall performance was weighed down by financial stress. The pre-tax loss in Q1FY21 increased fourfold year-on-year (YoY) from Rs 6,673 crore, after the company set aside Rs 19,440 crore as an exceptional item towards the AGR liability. 

Vodafone Idea’s AGR liability stands at Rs 58,254 crore after the Supreme Court rejected the firm’s plea for reassessing dues last month. The company has indicated that its ability to continue as a going concern depends on a favourable outcome in the case.

Vodafone Idea has also pledged its stake in Indus Towers Limited as a security for bank guarantees worth Rs 1,935 crore. Indus Towers is set to merge with Bharti Infratel and the company expects to monetize the stake post its merger. 

Revenue declined 5.4 per cent YoY in the quarter to Rs 10,659 crore. The company said gross subscriber additions were severely impacted by closure of retail stores during the nationwide lockdown, resulting in the subscriber base declining to 279.8 million in Q1FY21 from 291.1 million in Q4 FY20. 

Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased on a YoY basis, but declined sequentially despite the tariff hike in December.

However, there were some positives, like the strong data volume growth of 10.6 per cent, the highest in the last six quarters. Data usage per broadband subscriber, too, increased to 13 GB per month, supported by expansion in network capacity, the company said.

“We continued to make progress on our strategy with integration largely complete, enabling us to realise cost synergies well ahead of our initial targets. We have launched a new cost optimisation initiative that will drive further savings. We continue to actively engage with the government seeking a comprehensive relief package for the industry,” said the company’s Managing Director Ravinder Takkar.



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