Sunil Mittal-promoted Bharti Airtel announced its main achievements in the last 12 months ended March 31, 2018.
Airtel has rolled out more than 107,000 mobile broadband base stations in India. Airtel’s total Capex (capital expenditure) was INR 268 billion. Airtel increased the investment at a time several Indian and global telecom operators slashed their investment plans to meet subdued demand for voice business.
The mobile operator enhanced its Capex by 34.9 percent to INR 26,818 crore or $4.2 billion in fiscal 18. Capex in Q4 fiscal 2018 was INR 6,282 crore vs INR 3,808 crore in Q4 fiscal 2017.
Airtel has crossed 300 million mobile customer mark in India. The achievement of the 300 million user base is significant because the Indian telecom market is going through a hyper competition.
The global telecom operator through its strategies assisted the mobile data market to grow further despite challenging revenue conditions. Airtel gave attention to growth in subscriber and revenue.
Airtel’s investment in mobile data network assisted the company to achieve total mobile data traffic growth of 375 percent. Airtel’s mobile voice traffic growth was 42 percent.
The other strategy of Airtel was to focus on both DTH and enterprise business segments to reduce pressure on mobile business. As a result, the Airtel achieved 9.9 percent growth in India non-mobile revenue.
The main achievement of Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal and Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava was the 9.2 percent reduction in total Opex on the back of strong cost efficiencies in Indian and African telecom markets.
Areas of concern
Airtel’s EBITDA fell 14.5 percent to Rs 30,448 crore in fiscal 2018 from Rs 35,621 crore in fiscal 2017. EBITDA margin fell by 0.9 percent to 36.4 percent in fiscal 2018 from 37.3 percent in fiscal 2017.
Airtel Africa EBITDA margin rose by 9.4 percent to 33.4 percent in fiscal 18 from 24 percent in fiscal 2017.
Net income fell by 71.1 percent to Rs 1,099 crore in fiscal 2018 from Rs 3,800 crore in fiscal 2017.