Bharti Infratel down 5% as Q3 profit misses estimates

The company's overall revenue fell 13 per cent to Rs 20, 319 crore primarily due to "regulatory fiat in terms of a cut in domestic Interconnection Usage Charges".

Revenue from operations of the firm, which owns a stake in India's biggest mobile tower company Indus Towers, rose almost 11% to Rs1,697 crore.

During the quarter, Bharti Airtel divested Ghana country operation in Africa.

Consolidated net debt of Airtel went up 0.3% sequentially to Rs 91,714 crore.

India mobile revenue fell 17.6% despite a sixfold increase in mobile data traffic to 1.1 billion megabytes and a 64.9% increase in mobile broadband customers to 62.1 million.

The company, in a statement, said the profit was severally affected after regulatory body TRAI introduced cuts in domestic IUC (Interconnection Usage Charges).

"Continued investments in data capacities, strategic partnerships with content and handset providers and focus on customer friendly innovations like data rollover has led to healthy customer additions of 8.1 million during the quarter". Its revenue dropped to Rs 15,294 crore, 11.3 per cent y-o-y and down from the Rs 16818.3 crore in the previous quarter.

Airtel in December signed an agreement to sell 20 percent stake in Bharti Telemedia to private equity firm Warburg Pincus for about Dollars 350 million (around Rs 2,310 crore). Mobile broadband customers increased by 64.9 per cent to 6.21 crore from 3.77 crore in the corresponding quarter previous year.

India's biggest mobile carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly net profit after the country's telecoms regulator more than halved interconnection fees a year ago.

Its revenue was pegged at Rs 23,336 crore in the corresponding period last financial year.

The telco's mobile data traffic has grown more than 6x to 1,106 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 172 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter previous year.

Active Airtel Money customer base increased to 10.4 million, boosting the total transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 37.9% to $ 5.4 billion.

Vanessa Coleman

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