R-Com profit declines 44%

Mumbai, Jan. 23: Telecom service provider Reliance Communications (R-Com) today disappointed the Street with a 44 per cent drop in net profit in the third quarter at Rs 105 crore against Rs 186 crore in the corresponding period last year on account of a rise in debts.

R-Com's finance costs during the quarter rose to Rs 605 crore from Rs 381 crore a year ago, a jump of nearly 59 per cent.

However, revenues grew 5 per cent to Rs 5,301 crore.

R-Com said margins at 31.2 per cent were among the highest in the industry during the period which came on the back of a strong contribution from both the wireless and global enterprise business unit (GEBU) segments.

Wireless revenue rose 1.5 per cent to Rs 4,515 crore from Rs 4,447 crore last year. Revenue per minute (RPM) stood at a healthy 44 paisa. R-Com said it had maintained the RPM for the last 11 consecutive quarters despite increasing competition and the oversupply of minutes.

In the GEBU segment, revenue grew over 4 per cent to Rs 2,454 crore from Rs 2,352 crore in the same period last year.

R-Com, which has been weighed down by a huge debt on its books, has been taking various efforts to bring down the interest costs. In 2011, it signed an agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) for a Rs 6,000-crore ($1.33 billion) syndicated loan.

The loan, which was fully underwritten by CDB, was funded by a syndicate of Chinese banks and financial institutions including CDB.

To further bring down costs, R-Com recently signed a deal with Alcatel-Lucent, the Franco-American communications equipment maker, to manage its network in eastern and southern India.

Alcatel-Lucent will support both the wireless and the fixed-line operations of R-Com.

The R-Com stock gained marginally today on hopes that an increase in mobile tariffs was on the anvil. On the NSE, the share ended higher at Rs 88.05 against the previous close of Rs 87.60.

Syndicate Bank

Syndicate Bank today reported a 50.38 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 508.49 crore for the December quarter against Rs 338.12 crore in the same period last fiscal.

Total income increased to Rs 4,489.90 crore from Rs 4,214.35 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2011, the public sector bank said in a BSE filing.

Interest income grew over 6 per cent to Rs 4,220.59 crore during the three-month period. In the year-ago period, the interest income stood at Rs 3,973.94 crore.

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