Bharti Airtel’s Q3 net drops 55%

New Delhi: Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel’s net profit for the third quarter (October-December) of 2016-17 dropped by 55 per cent, a company statement said here on Tuesday.

The company posted net profit of Rs 504 crore for the October-December 2016-17 period compared to Rs 1,108 crore posted during the corresponding period in 2015-16.

The total revenue of the company also declined by 3 per cent. In the third quarter of 2016-17 it posted total revenue of Rs 23,336 crore compared to Rs 24,066 crore posted during the corresponding period in 2015-16.

“The quarter has seen turbulence due to the continued predatory pricing by a new operator. The present termination costs at 14 paise which are well below cost has resulted in a tsunami of minutes terminating into our network. This has led to an unprecedented year-on-year revenue decline for the industry, pressure on margins and a serious impact on the financial health of the sector,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia.

The company’s mobile data revenues was at Rs 4,049 crore in the quarter and data volumes grew at 36.4 per cent year-on-year.

“Slowdown in mobile revenue growth primarily due to free voice and data offering by a new operator,” the statement said.

“In India, other businesses have witnessed healthy growth, for example 17.7 per cent in Digital TV, 12.5 per cent in Airtel Business and 10.8 per cent in Homes on year-on-year basis,” the statement added.

The company said that consequent to the spectrum acquired worth Rs 14,281 crore during October 2016 auction, the company’s consolidated net debt has increased to $14,339 million from $12,232 million in the previous quarter.

The net debt excluding the deferred payment liabilities to the Department of Telecommunications and finance lease obligations is now at $7,650 million.