Continuing its turnaround in earnings during the past few quarters, telecom operator Airtel returned to the black and reported a profit of Rs 853.6 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, (Q3FY21). The company posted a loss of Rs 1,035 crore during the same period a year ago. The loss was Rs 763 crore in the September quarter (Q2FY21).
The telco posted its highest ever consolidated quarterly revenue for the quarter under review. The revenue from operations increased 24 per cent to Rs 26,518 crore as against Rs 21,343 crore during the same period a year ago. The revenue was Rs 25,060 crore in the September quarter (Q2FY21).
The revenues for India business grew 25.1 per cent year-on-year to Rs 19,007 crore. Mobile revenues were up 32.4 per cent year-on-year led by improving realisations coupled with strong customer additions. The overall business revenues increased by 9.2 per cent year-on-year on the back of strong demand for connectivity and solutions.
The consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) came in at Rs 12,178 crore with an EBITDA margin at 45.9 per cent – an improvement of 464 bps year-on-year, the company said in a filing.
Mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) increased to Rs 166 compared to Rs 135 in the same period a year earlier.
Commenting on the performance, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, said: “Despite the unprecedented volatility that we have confronted through the year, we delivered another strong performance this quarter. This consistency in performance was across every part of our portfolio, as reflected in market share growth across all our business segments.”
“This has been made possible due to our agility, the continued re-orientation of our business model and our relentless focus on what truly matters – serving our customers. The main highlight of the quarter was the 13 million 4G customers we added in our Wireless business,” Vittal further said.
Airtel said that the 4G data customers increased by 33.8 per cent year-on-year to 165.6 million and over the last 4 quarters, it has added 42 million 4G customers to its network.
“We are also proud to have become India’s first Telco to have demonstrated a live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city. This reaffirms our strategy to win with quality customers,” he said.
“Digital TV witnessed a growth of 5.8 per cent year-on-year on an underlying basis, led by strong customer additions of 485K during the quarter,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.
“Homes business segment witnessed a revenue growth of 2.3 per cent year-on-year with highest ever customer additions of 215K during the quarter to reach to a total base of 2.79 million,” it said. The net debt of the company stands at Rs 1.25 trillion.
Last week, Bharti Airtel said its network is 5G ready and that the company had successfully demonstrated live next-generation 5G service — with ultra-high speeds — over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.
Earlier during the day, Bharti Airtel shares hit a record high of Rs 618.75 a piece, up over 3 per cent on BSE, surpassing the previous high of Rs 611.70 clocked on May 20, 2020. The company’s scrip ended at Rs 608.80, 1.53 per cent higher on the BSE.