Bharti profit plunges 72%

New Delhi, Feb. 1: Bharti Airtel today posted a 72 per cent fall in net profit for the quarter ended December at Rs 284 crore against Rs 1,011 crore a year ago because of foreign exchange loss and a weak performance by its African unit.

This is the twelfth consecutive quarter of profit slide for the company.

Revenues rose 10 per cent to Rs 20,239 crore from Rs 18,477 crore in the same period a year ago, helped by a 70 per cent growth in its mobile Internet business in India.

The New Delhi-based telecom firm, which is 32 per cent-owned by Singapore Telecommunications, suffered a forex loss of Rs 248 crore as currency fluctuations increased its interest cost on foreign debt. It had posted a Rs 13.2 crore currency gain a year earlier.

"Market conditions have been challenging in recent quarters because of pricing pressures and rising input costs, which have put enormous pressure on the sector and consequently the margins," chairman and managing director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Bharti's debt at the end of December stood at Rs 64,282.5 crore, which was used to fund its 2010 purchase of the African operations of Kuwait's Mobile Telecom and to acquire spectrum in the domestic market.

The company also has to pay Rs 5,201 crore as one-time fee to the government for holding spectrum above 4.4 megahertz.

At a time the company's Indian operations have started showing signs of improvement following the end of an over two-year long price war that dented margins, its African operations have proved to be a major drag on its performance.

During the reporting quarter, Bharti's loss in Africa doubled from a year earlier to Rs 520 crore and its average revenue per user declined to $6.2 from $6.4 on a sequential basis.

However, in India, average revenue per user grew 4 per cent sequentially to Rs 185, while call traffic rose 3 per cent.

Less competition in the domestic market is helping local telecom firms perform well. Some operators, including Bharti, have recently cut down on discounts on call charges to offset rising costs.

"The worst seems to be getting over with corrections taking place in customer acquisition practices and the tariffs," Mittal said.

Bharti, which operates in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and 17 African countries, had 262 million subscribers at the end of December.

Shares of the firm today settled at Rs 330.50 on the BSE, down 2.62 per cent from the previous close.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »