Idea Cellular has posted a consolidated net loss of Rs. 962.20 crore for the fourth-quarter ended March 31, 2018, a near three-fold rise from Rs. 327 crore posted for the same period a year ago.
The company cited the financial stress in the telecom sector, including aggressive price plans, fall in termination charges and low-priced plans offered by new 4G operator as reasons.
The company’s total income fell to Rs. 6,387.7 crore during the quarter under review, from Rs. 8194.5 crore recorded during the same period a year ago, the company said in a release. On a standalone basis, the Aditya Birla Group company’s net loss stood at Rs. 1017.9 crore on a total revenue of Rs. 6137.3 crore.
Idea had the lowest drop in AGR Revenue Market Share from 20 percent in CY16 to 19.5 percent in CY17 among the top three industry operators in spite of major gains by new 4G operator. However, these trends are not reflective of the emerging long-term opportunities offered by the sector such as multi SIM users are consolidating their usage to a single operator, subscribers are increasing or upgrading to higher broadband usage and nearly 300-400 million Indians, primarily in the rural hinterland, are yet to adopt mobile telephony services. During the year, the dual negative factors of steep reduction in domestic and international mobile termination charge settlement rate and unrelenting rate pressure on voice and mobile data services as high ARPU consumers migrate to lower priced ‘unlimited voice bundled data plans’ resulted in 20.5 percent decline in Idea’s gross revenue in FY18 to Rs. 28,278 crore. The company remains cautiously optimistic on India growth story and continues to expand its scale of operations, this tumultuous phase impacted Idea’s EBITDA during the current financial year by 41 percent to Rs. 60,47 crore.