Vodafone Idea enhances revenue and Capex, cuts Opex

Vodafone Idea has reported increase in revenue and Capex, while reducing its Opex during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018-19.
Vodafone Idea BusinessVodafone Idea today said its Capex spending reached INR 32.3 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018-19.

The total capital expenditure has touched INR 102.2 billion during the fiscal 2018-19 ended March 31, 2019.

Vodafone Idea added 8,915 4G broadband sites to enhance capacity, and deployed massive MIMO on around 2,000 sites in select key locations.

The number of broadband locations and broadband sites fell as the process of redeployment is currently underway. Vodafone Idea said the number of broadband sites and population coverage would improve significantly.

Vodafone Idea’s 4G population coverage reached 65 percent as of March 31, 2019, compared to less than 50 percent in August 2018.

Vodafone Idea has added 5.4 million 4G customers, taking the total number of 4G subscriber base to 80.7 million. The number of mobile broadband subscriber base on 2G, 3G and 4G platforms reached 110.2 million.

Balesh Sharma, CEO of Vodafone Idea, said: “We focus on fortifying our position in key profitable districts by expanding coverage and capacity of our 4G network, targeting higher share of new 4G customers by offering an enhanced network experience.”

Vodafone Idea has removed surplus telecom equipment on 24,000 sites out of 67,000 co-located sites. Vodafone Idea also exited ~9,900 low utilization sites. Both initiatives have yielded significant cost savings for India’s #1 telecom operator based on mobile phone customers.

Vodafone Idea posted revenue of INR 117,750 million with EBITDA of INR 17,853 million with EBITDA margin of 15.2 percent in Q4 fiscal 2018-19. The company improved revenue, EBITDA and EBITDA margin.

Vodafone Idea had reported revenue of INR 117,648 million with EBITDA of INR 11,368 million with EBITDA margin of 9.7 percent in Q3 fiscal 2018-19.

Operating expenses of Vodafone Idea declined by INR 12.8 billion to INR 74.8 billion quarter on quarter. The cut in Opex is equivalent to an annualised synergy realisation of ~INR 51 billion, ~60 percent of the INR 84 billion synergy target. EBITDA increased 57 percent to INR 17.9 billion.

Strategy of Vodafone Idea

The main strategy that worked well for Vodafone Idea was the introduction of service validity vouchers during Q3, which required customers to make a minimum recharge of Rs 35 for 28 days validity.

Vodafone Idea removed 53.2 million subscribers as low ARPU customers migrated their spending from multiple SIMs to single SIM. Vodafone Idea has closed the fiscal year with 334.1 million mobile phone customers.

ARPU of Vodafone Idea for the quarter grew 16.3 percent quarter on quarter to Rs 104 vs Rs 89 in Q3.

Vodafone Idea’s data volumes grew 9 percent to 2,947 billion MB against the last quarter. Daily data volume rose 11.4 percent to 32.7 billion MB in Q4 vs 29.4 billion MB in Q3. Voice minutes on the network fell 1.3 percent due to cut in incoming minutes following the disconnection of low ARPU customers.

The average daily revenue grew 2.3 percent quarter on quarter after witnessing successive declines for the 11 prior quarters.