Airtel said it added 12.5 million 4G subscribers in the March quarter
Bharti Airtel shares surged to a record high on Tuesday, as customers upgraded their data and calling plans and the telecom operator raised mobile tariffs, helping boost average revenue per user. The company’s average revenue per user, a key metric for the telecom sector, rose 25 per cent to Rs 154 at its mobile services business in the country during the quarter ended March 31. Shares in Bharti Airtel soared as much as 12.05 per cent to Rs 603 apiece on the BSE during the session, before settling with a gain of 11.34 per cent for the day at Rs 599.15.
“Bharti Airtel’s strong data subscriber additions despite sharp tariff hikes reflects consumer acceptance of higher tariffs,” Jefferies said in a note.
“Moreover, its ability to add data subscribers should also support market share gains.”
Airtel said it added 12.5 million 4G subscribers in the March quarter.
Telecom companies in the country raised calling and data plan prices in the last few months after the Supreme Court upheld a demand by the telecoms department that wireless carriers pay Rs 92,000 crore ($12.11 billion) in overdue levies and interest.
New-Delhi based Airtel said on Monday it set aside Rs 5,642 crore for one-time spectrum charges, resulting in a quarterly net loss of Rs 5237 crore for the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of Rs 107 crore a year earlier.
Total revenue, however, rose 15 per cent to Rs 23,723 crore.
Users were confined to their homes during the last week of March due to a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We continue to witness strong data traffic growth of about 74.1% year-on-year,” chief executive officer Gopal Vittal said in a statement late on Monday.
Rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, reported a nearly three-fold rise in March quarter profit.