AGR issue: Vodafone Idea may face cash crunch to run business

Vodafone Idea is facing the task of running its mobile operations without financial issues in the wake of Supreme Court rejecting relief on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue today.
Vodafone Idea chairman Kumar Mangalam BirlaVodafone Idea will be forced to make AGR payment of over Rs 50,000 crore immediately to avoid further issues from the Supreme Court.

Vodafone Idea earlier said its gross debt excluding lease liabilities as of December 31, 2019 was Rs 1,158 billion, including deferred spectrum payment obligations due to the India Government of Rs 885.3 billion.

Vodafone Idea’s net debt stood at Rs 1,033 billion in Q3 as compared with Rs 1,019 billion in Q2FY20.

Vodafone Idea has cash and cash equivalents of Rs 125 billion.

Vodafone Idea’s operating expenses for the December quarter (excluding License fees & Spectrum Usage Charges and Roaming & Access charges) were Rs 17.9 billion lower compared to Q1FY19, after adjusting for inflation driven cost increases and incremental network rollout.

Vodafone Idea’s network suppliers will also feel the heat if there is any financial issues in the long term.

Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group, the promoters of the telecom company, had earlier indicated that the survival of the company would depend on getting relief on the payouts due to AGR and licence fees.

Vodafone said on Wednesday that the outlook for its joint venture in India, Vodafone Idea, remains critical.

“VIL is seeking various forms of relief from the Indian Government to ensure that the rate and level of payments it makes to the Indian Government is sustainable and it can meet its other commitments as they fall due,” Vodafone Group said in its third quarter earnings statement.

Vodafone Idea loss rose to Rs 6,438 crore in the third quarter ended December 31, 2019, an increase from Rs 5,004 crore posted during the year-ago period.

“We actively engage with the government seeking relief on AGR and other matters. Post dismissal of our review petition, we have filed for modification of the supplementary order with the Supreme Court,” said Ravinder Takkar, managing director and CEO of Vodafone Idea, said.