Bharti Airtel posted strong profits, industry-best Arpu in Q4
Telecom chief Bharti Airtel on Tuesday reported a net profit of Rs 2,008 crore for the March quarter, which jumped 142% to the quarter, surpassing road estimates.
Profits, including an exceptional profit of Rs 147 crore, were driven by a strong performance of India’s mobile business. The company’s consolidated revenue rose 5.4% to Rs 31,500 crore, down from estimates.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, said mobile business revenue grew 9.5% as the company saw the full flow of tariff increases.
The country’s second-largest telecom operator posted an Ebitda (interest, tax, depreciation and earnings before payments) margin of 50.8%, up from 49.9% in the previous quarter. Combined Ebitda grew 7.33% to Rs 15,998 crore, thanks to tariff hike.
The company’s average earnings per user (Arpu) increased by 9.2% qoq to Rs 178 from Rs 163 in the December 2021 quarter. It is still the best in the industry, ahead of Reliance Jio’s Rs 167.6 crore in tariff growth and continued growth in 4G subscriber integration.
The full effect of the December tariff increase was seen in the March quarter. Over the last few quarters, Bharati has raised several tariffs to encourage Arpu.
The company’s data usage per customer stands at 18.8 GB per month, one step lower than Reliance Jio’s 19.7 GB. However, the voice voice per user per month increased by 2.1% quarter-on-quarter to 1,083 minutes, which is higher than Jio’s performance. Total data volume increased 4.8% qoq to 11,849,334 million Mbs.
Monthly customer churn fell slightly to 2.9% in the December quarter from 2.9% in the quarter. The company’s total mobile subscribers grew 1% to 326 million while 4G subscribers grew by more than 200 million, an increase of 2.7%. Within its overall subscriber base, the number of 4G users now stands at 63.9%, up from 21.5 million 4G subscribers last year.
Reflecting the resilience of the portfolio, Vital said, the home and enterprise business continues to show strong growth momentum. “Our strong balance sheets and cash flow have enabled us to pay off some of our spectrum liabilities ahead of schedule and improve our leverage,” the CEO said.
Vittal said the company is optimistic about the opportunities in the coming years for three reasons: Second, our future-proven business model with massive investment in both infrastructure and digital. Ultimately, our financial prudence is backed by our strong governance focus. “
The company’s revenue in India grew by 7.58% to Rs 22,500 crore, while mobile revenue grew by 9.47% to Rs 17,617 crore in the quarter. Bharati exited FY22 with a combined net income of Rs 4,255 crore, behind revenue of Rs 1.16 trillion.
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