Bharti Airtel gains 5% after reporting improved margin in June quarter

Shares of Bharti Airtel climbed 5 per cent to Rs 339 apiece in Friday's early morning trade on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in an otherwise weak market after the telecom operator reported an improved margin and industry-best average revenue per user (ARPU) for the June quarter (Q1FY20).

At 11:20 AM, the stock was up 3.81 per cent to Rs 336.25 as compared to 0.84 per cent decline in the benchmark Nifty50.

Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margin improved to 41 per cent during the quarter as compared to 34.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year.

India EBITDA margin for the quarter was at 39.5 per cent (30.3 per cent on comparable basis) as compared to 32.9 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

ARPU continued to increase for the second consecutive quarter. Overall ARPU for the quarter was Rs 129 as compared to Rs 105 in the corresponding quarter last year.

However, the telecom company posted its first quarterly net loss in over a decade at Rs 2,866 crore, battered mainly by stiff competition from Reliance Jio, besides depreciation of 3G network equipment and operating costs on network refarming.

The company was able to retain its top spot in the market in terms of revenue as its top line was up 2.8 per cent at Rs 15,345 crore. Vodafone Idea posted revenue of Rs 11,269.9 crore in the June quarter and Reliance Jio’s revenue was Rs 11,679 crore.

“The first quarter of the financial year has begun with a healthy and equitable growth across all our lines of businesses. Headline pricing remained stable, albeit at low levels,” said Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive officer, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

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