Airtel said its Indian telecom business revenue dropped 13 percent to Rs 16,728 crore in the second quarter ended September 2017.
The decline in India revenue of Airtel follows the predatory pricing by Reliance Jio Infocomm since the Mukesh Ambani-promoted company entered the Indian telecom market with several free offers in September 2016.
Reliance Jio has more than 130 million 4G subscribers and they benefit from free voice and roaming services across India. Airtel still charges for both voice and data services despite competition from Jio in the 4G data market. Airtel has increased its data user base to 55.2 million.
Bharti Airtel posted consolidated revenue of Rs 21,777 crore (–11.7 percent), EBITDA of Rs 8,004 crore (–15.4 percent), EBIT of 36.8 percent (38.4 percent) and profit of Rs 343 crore (–76.5 percent) in Q2.
Airtel India revenues declined 13 percent to Rs 16,728 crore primarily led by mobile drop of 16.8 percent. Mobile data traffic has increased 4-fold to 784 billion MBs in the second quarter as compared to 178 billion MBs in Q2 fiscal 2017. Airtel India’s mobile broadband customers increased 33.6 percent to 55.2 million. This includes 2G, 3G and 4G data customers on Airtel network across the country.
“The financial stress in the industry continues due to double digit revenue decline and will be further accentuated by the reduction in IUC rates in the next quarter. This will eventually force operator consolidation and exits as we have witnessed in the recent past,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, at Airtel.
“Airtel remains committed to its goal of increasing revenue market share in the competitive market by providing superior customer experience and strategically investing behind building more data capacities,” Gopal Vittal said.
Airtel Africa said it Q2 revenues grew 2.6 percent. Mobile data traffic has grown 83.8 percent to 63 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 34 billion MBs. Data customers of Airtel Africa increased 20.1 percent to 21.7 million.
Airtel Africa achieved EBITDA margin of 9.1 percent and at 32.1 percent. Airtel Money customer base reached 9.5 million, increasing the transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 31.1 percent to $ 4.9 billion.
“Our efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continue and we have delivered EBITDA margin of 32.1 percent, with underlying margins up 9.1 percent. We remain focused on accelerating growth through the three pillars of increasing mobile penetration, growing the data business and expanding the Airtel money base,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa.
Bharti Airtel consolidated
Bharti Airtel reported EBITDA of Rs 8,004 crore (–15.4 percent) with EBITDA margin of 36.8 percent (–1.6 percent).
The company’s consolidated net debt has increased to Rs 91,480 crore from Rs 87,840 crore in the previous quarter.