India’s largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd Monday posted a consolidated loss of Rs 4,881.9 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, amid a brutal tariff war in India’s mobile market. Sequentially, the loss has narrowed from Rs 5,004.6 crore during the third quarter of 2018-19.
According to books of Vodafone Idea, there was a comprehensive loss of Rs 962.2 crore in the same quarter a year ago, but the year-on-year figure is not comparable as the merger between India unit of Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular was completed on August 31, 2018. For Vodafone Idea — whose financials has been battered by intense price competition posed by the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani’s.
Reliance Jio — the revenue from operations for March quarter of 2018-19 came in at Rs 11,775 crore, almost flat compared to Rs 11,764.8 crore logged in the previous December quarter. “The initiatives we have taken since the merger are yielding positive results and we are well on track to deliver our synergy targets two years early,” Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma said.
The company remains focused on fortifying its position in key profitable districts by expanding coverage and capacity of its 4G network, targeting higher share of new 4G customers, and improving cash flows through cost transformation, he added. For the full year FY19, the company suffered loss of Rs 14,603.9 crore, while the revenue from operations was pegged at Rs 37,092.5 crore.
The company’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for the just-ended quarter grew 16.3 percent sequentially to Rs 104 (against Rs 89 in Q3). The Vodafone Idea scrip closed at Rs 14.45 a piece on the BSE, 3.21 percent higher than the previous close. The results were announced after market hours.
The earnings scorecard of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel last week – underline the serious challenge telecom players face to grow profitability in India despite the market’s massive data and voice consumption. The telecom sector has been battered by falling tariffs, eroding profitability, and towering debt, in the face of stiff competition triggered by disruptive offerings of Reliance Jio. Lately, however, the industry pundits are talking about a recovery or rebound in the offing, and estimate that industry revenue may rise by 5-10 percent this year.―Financial Express