Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Tuesday posted 4.9 per cent drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,461 crore in the September quarter, mainly on account of increased spectrum related costs and devaluation of Nigerian currency. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 1,536 crore in the year-ago period. "Net interest costs of Rs 1,603 crore have risen from Rs 1,053 crore in the corresponding quarter last year largely due to increased spectrum related interest costs," Airtel said in a statement.
Also, growth of Bharti Airtel's mobile business in India slowed down due to launch of free mobile service by Reliance Jio. "Overall revenue momentum in India has been sustained during Q2 with a growth of 10.1 per cent Y-o-Y.
"This is primarily due to the strong performance of our non-mobile businesses which grew in aggregate at 18.8 per cent Y-o-Y, albeit our mobile business has experienced a slowdown in growth due to free services being offered by a new operator," the firm's MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said. India revenues during the quarter ended September 30 grew by 10.1 per cent to Rs 19,219 crore on year-on-year basis.
The company said its India business grew on account of 20.9 per cent growth in digital TV, 19.2 per cent in Airtel Business, 14.9 per cent in homes and 7.9 per cent in mobile, on year-on-year basis.
Total income increased by 3.4 per cent to Rs 24,671.5 crore against Rs 23,851.9 crore earlier. Airtel said consolidated revenue growth was muted at 3.3 per cent on account of full quarter impact of Nigeria currency devaluation. During the quarter, except for Nigeria, currencies were stable in most of the geographies, which resulted in lower forex and derivative losses of Rs 302 crore compared to Rs 822 crore in the corresponding quarter last year, the company said.
Consolidated mobile data revenues grew by 21 per cent y-o-y to Rs 4,536 crore. "Mobile Data revenues now contribute to 24.7 per cent of Mobile India revenues vis-a-vis 21.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year," Airtel said. In constant currency terms, Africa underlying revenues grew by 4.7 per cent.
"Underlying Africa revenue growth for the quarter was 4.7 per cent Y-o-Y, backed by our focus on profitable top line growth, led via localised distribution, stronger data networks and our war on waste program," the company's Chief Operating Officer (Africa) Raghunath Mandava said.
In a separate statement, Airtel said it will explore sale of stake in its mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel. "The Board of Directors of the company...has authorised committee of directors to evaluate option for monetisation of significant stake in Infratel," Airtel said.