airtel: Bharti Airtel surpasses Reliance Geo, VI on India’s wireless biz front

Reliance surpassed Jio and (Vi) on India’s wireless business front in the fourth quarter of the financial year, reported higher sequential revenue growth and even added customers strongly while its closest rivals lost that score, analysts said.

“Airtel’s India cellular revenue grew 9.5% vs. Jio’s 7.4% qoq / Vi’s 5.4% QoQ to Q4FY22,” Bofa Securities said in a note by ET. It added that “Airtel also gained 3.1 million net subscriptions against Geo / Veer who lost 10.8 million / 3.4 million subscriptions respectively”.

Brokerage Kotak supports this view, stating that Airtel’s “Indian business was ahead of Jio in 4QFY22, with both revenue and Ebitda (read: operating income) increasing by 8-10% to Rs 22,500 crore and Rs 11,440 crore, respectively.” 5. More than% reported on Jio platform. ”

Shares of Airtel, however, fell slightly 0.76% to Rs 702.20 in Wednesday morning’s trading, after initially jumping about 3% in one day, and after losing telco estimates, consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter rose nearly 164% year on year, taken by India’s mobile business last November. Driven by sharp tariff increases, which have helped boost average revenue per user (ARPU), strong user engagement and one-time profits.

Telco, led by Sunil Mittal, posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 2,007.8 crore for the March quarter, up 141% year-on-year. It was Airtel’s sixth quarter blackout after six consecutive losses.

Airtel recorded a one-time net profit of Rs 984.7 crore due to sale of telecommunication tower assets and settlement with strategic vendors, transfer of spectrum rights to other telecom operators and provision of tariffs. Property, plants and equipment due to prepaying bonds.

In the December quarter, Telco’s ARPU increased from Rs 163 to Rs 178. By comparison, market-leading Jio and loss-making Vodafone Idea have clocked ARPUs of Rs167.6 and Rs 124, respectively.

Analysts at Kotak say Airtel’s free cash flow (FCF), post-lease, interest and spectrum liability payments have improved in QoQ but lower OCF (operating cash flow) in the previous quarter – Rs 28 billion vs. Rs104 billion was negative. Higher interest payments were offset by lower capex in spectrum liability prepayments. ”

Brokerage Nomura said “Airtel’s operating margin Q4FY22 has expanded by 50.9% (+ 170bp qq, +400 bp yy) through the flow of tariff increases”. It added that Airtel had the highest number of minutes of use (MoU) among its peers on the network at 1,083 minutes / month vs. 968 minutes for Jio and 610 minutes for Vi.

Jefferies said Airtel’s non-mobile business in India also had a strong quarter, with both the home and enterprise segment growing 13-46% year-on-year, exceeding estimates. “The home segment provided 0.32m strong customer additions, led by the scale-up of LCO tie-ups in 847 cities… Airtel business also witnessed double-digit growth for the 4th consecutive quarter.”

However, Global Brokerage said Airtel’s Africa Q4 numbers were disappointing as Africa’s earnings (up 19% year-on-year) missed estimates due to lower-than-expected ARPU growth (+ 11% -an year). “Africa Ebitda (up 23% year on year) was below expectations mainly due to the revenue deficit,” Jeffrey added.

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