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Jio may post a whopping ₹5,000 cr profit in March quarter, anlaysts

Reliance Jio went from a new entrant in 2016 to the country’s leading telecom company by revenue and subscribers last year, beating industry veteran Bharti Airtel and forcing Vodafone and Idea to merge to survive.

Nothing demonstrates Reliance Jio’s rise to the top of the Indian telecom sector like this stat – since the beginning of 2020 till September 2021, Jio added over 74 million new subscribers to its tally. Its competitor Airtel added only 27 million, while Vodafone Idea lost more than 61 million subscribers in the same period.

However, Reliance Jio lost most of its momentum since then, with its net additions falling to the same level as Airtel’s.

That is not a bad thing, though – this is something we have been saying for a while now. And now, it looks like this theory will come to fruition in Reliance Jio’s March quarter results.

Most of the industry analysts expect high single-digit growth in Reliance Jio’s revenue, with a similar surge in the average revenue per user (ARPU) also almost a given.

ARPU is a critical metric to measure a telecom company’s performance since it shows how much revenue each user is contributing to the company on average.

Here’s what the analysts think the March 2022 quarter for Jio could look like
Analysts are gung-ho about the telecom sector’s performance in the March 2022 quarter.

Specifically talking about Reliance Jio, analysts at BNP Paribas, Bank of America Securities, Jefferies, UBS and ICICI Securities expect revenue growth in the range of 7-10%.

Analysts at ICICI Securities say that the impact of the 21% tariff hike by Reliance Jio will take some time to reflect in the telco’s numbers, stating that Jio offers longer validity plans on average when compared to its rivals Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

This means that Reliance Jio’s numbers in the next quarter could be relatively stronger than Airtel and Vodafone Idea, who could see a reduction of up to 1.5% in estimated revenue in the next financial year, according to UBS.

Subscriber numbers could fall by as much as 90 lakh, but ARPU consolidation to continue
Most analysts are certain that Reliance Jio could see a massive decline in the number of subscribers, with the expected range being 74-90 lakh.

This, however, will impact Jio’s ARPU numbers positively, with a range of 7-8%. If Jio manages this, the March 2022 quarter would be a return to one of its strongest performances so far.

Another factor that could help Jio post strong growth in ARPU, according to the analysts at ICICI Securities, is higher prices of 4G smartphones, which have thereby limited the number of new subscriber additions.

All of this, combined with lower interest costs, could see Reliance Jio report a 40% increase in net profit (quarter-on-quarter) to ₹5,000 crore, according to Jefferies.

This would make the March 2022 quarter a blockbuster one for Reliance Jio, and its 18th consecutive profitable quarter – a feat that could remind its rivals Airtel and Vodafone Idea of the days of 2G and 3G when they dominated the Indian telecom sector. Business Insider

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