AGR-hit Vodafone Idea postpones Q3 conference call with analysts

Vodafone Idea, which is staring at statutory dues of about Rs 53,000 crore, has postponed its post-earnings conference call with analysts, which was earlier scheduled for Friday.

"...further to our letter dated February 11, 2020 on results conference call scheduled for February 14, 2020. We hereby wish to inform that the aforesaid conference call has been postponed," Vodafone Idea said in a regulatory filing.

The filing, in late evening on Thursday, said the new date of the call will be intimated separately but did not give any reason for the postponement.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the top echelons of telecom firms to explain why contempt action should not be taken against them for non-compliance of its order to pay adjusted gross revenue of Rs 1.47 trillion to the telecom department.

Taking strong note of the non-compliance of its order, the top court expressed displeasure over an order passed by the Department of Telecom's desk officer, staying the effect of its verdict in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter.

Of the three private players operating in the Indian telecom market, Vodafone Idea is considered to be in the most vulnerable position.

It is staring at dues worth Rs 53,000 crore that includes up to Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and another Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee, and the company had earlier warned of shutdown if no relief was given.

Vodafone Idea in its earnings statement on Thursday had also sounded out warnings on "material uncertainty" casting "significant doubt" on its ability to continue as a going concern.

The company's ability to continue as a going concern is essentially dependent on a positive outcome of its modification application in the Supreme Court on the AGR matter and any relief from the telecom department on payments, VIL had said on Thursday.

Last week, Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read had said the situation in India is critical, following the AGR ruling of the Supreme Court. The British telecom major holds 45.39 per cent stake in VIL.

VIL had suffered staggering Rs 50,922 crore loss in the September quarter (highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate), when it had made provisions for statutory dues following the Supreme Court's order in the adjusted gross revenue matter, although its losses in December quarter stood at Rs 6,439 crore.

Rival Bharti Airtel's liabilities added up to nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues. But, Airtel had already said that the previously-mentioned material uncertainty on the group's ability to continue as a going concern "no longer exists" after the recent Rs 21,502 crore fund raising by it.

Most of the remaining liability is with state-owned BSNL/MTNL and some of the shut/bankrupt telecom companies.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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