Bharti Airtel on February 8 reported a surprise 27 percent sequential decline in its consolidated net profit at Rs 829.6 crore for the quarter ended December, which was sharply below analysts’ estimate of Rs 1,581.3 crore.
The telecom operator reported a 5.4 percent on-quarter rise in consolidated revenues at Rs 29,866 crore for the reported quarter, which was in-line the Street’s estimate of Rs 29,801 crore.
The revenue performance of the company percolated to the operating level as consolidated operating profit in the quarter rose 6.3 percent on-quarter to Rs 14,905 crore.
The faster growth in operating profit of Bharti Airtel reflected the impact of the price hikes undertaken by the company in the December quarter. The average revenue per user jumped 6.5 percent sequentially to Rs 163 per user per month.
Overall, the telecom operator’s consolidated operating margin improved 40 basis points on a quarter-on-quarter basis to 49.9 percent, which was in-line with analysts’ estimates.
The chief driver of the topline for the company was the India business where revenues grew 5.1 percent on-quarter to Rs 20,912 crore. The India business also reported a 5.6 percent on-quarter rise in operating profits to Rs 10,406 crore.
The African business also reported strong growth as revenues rose 6 percent sequentially to Rs 9,105.3 crore in the reported quarter. The arm’s operating profit also grew 8.3 percent on-quarter to Rs 4,519 crore.
Bharti Airtel said its customer base declined by 559,000 users in the December quarter to 322.9 million likely because of the impact of the tariff hikes by the company.
The digital television and home services business continued to see additions of new users. Digital TV services net added 76,000 new users but at the cost of average revenue per user declining to Rs 146 in the quarter from Rs 148 in the previous quarter.
Shares of Bharti Airtel ended 0.1 percent higher at Rs 706.95 on the National Stock Exchange. Moneycontrol