Bharti Airtel posted a loss of Rs 2,866 crore for the first quarter of FY20. The telecom major had registered a consolidated profit of Rs 97.30 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year. The telecom major posted a revenue of Rs 20,737.9 crore in the quarter under review as against Rs 19,799 crore in the year-ago period. The earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at Rs 8492.6 crore and the margin was recorded at 41 percent in the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal. Sunil Bharti-led telco’s India Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), a key performance metric of mobile phone operators, was recorded at Rs 129 against Rs 123 in the March quarter.
“Headline pricing remained stable, albeit at low levels. We continue to remain focused on providing value to customers through our rewards platform, Airtel Thanks. This has led to the second consecutive quarter of ARPU increase,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said.
Bharti Airtel’s topline continues to remain under pressure after Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio’s entry in September 2016 disrupted the domestic telecom sector, bringing down tariffs in the sector. While Reliance Jio recorded a profit of Rs 891 crore, Vodafone Idea posted a net loss of Rs 4,873.9 crore in the Q1 of ongoing fiscal.
What brokerages expected
Kotak Institutional Equities expected Bharti Airtel to record a Rs 1,154 crore consolidated loss for the quarter under review. It expected revenues of Rs 21,000 crore, up 6.1 percent year-on-year. ARPU for wireless segment was expected to rise 2 percent sequentially to Rs 127 per month.
The wireless revenues for Bharti Airtel was exp[ected to grow 1.7 percent sequentially to Rs 10,810 crore, ICICI Securities had said in a report released on 8 July.
Bharti Airtel’s Africa arm
On July 26, Bharti Airtel’s Africa arm had posted a net profit of $132.2 million, down 12.2 percent from the same period of the previous year.
Shares of Bharti Airtel closed the day at Rs 325, down 12.60, or 3.73 percent on NSE.―Financial Express