Telecom operator Bharti Airtel said it started following War on Waste program to control Opex – announcing 2.3 percent drop in revenue and 74 percent dip in net income for the first quarter ended June 30, 2018.
Airtel’s revenue from India, Africa and Asia dropped 2.3 percent to Rs 20,080 crore. The EBITDA dropped 12.6 percent to Rs 6,837 crore. EBITDA margin fell 1.6 percent to 34 percent from 35.6 percent.
Airtel said total Capex spending for the first quarter was Rs 8,217 crore – mainly targeting Indian wireless market.
“Our investments in India have led to some Opex headwinds in this quarter but we remain focused on structural cost containment through our ‘War on Waste’ program,” Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal said.
Airtel India revenues fell 7 percent to Rs 14,930 crore. Mobile services revenue dropped 11 percent.
Airtel India achieved revenue growth of 10.6 percent in Digital TV and 11.8 percent in Airtel Business.
Mobile data traffic has quadrupled to 2,151 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 472 billion MBs.
Mobile broadband customers increased 75.2 percent to 85.7 million from 48.9 million.
Airtel India Capex rose 26 percent to INR 78,664 million. The Capex of Airtel on mobile business was INR 69,350 million (+37 percent) focusing on 4G roll outs. Airtel India cut broadband Capex by 7 percent to INR 1,923 million.
Airtel India increased optic fibre network to 245,847 R Kms from 237,893 R Kms in March 2018. The number of network towers increased to 167,355 from 165,748. The number of mobile broadband base stations increased to 320,204 from 298,014.
Mobile ARPU of Airtel India fell 8.8 percent quarter on quarter and dropped 31.8 percent year on year to INR 105 or $1.6.
Airtel India’s broadband ARP dipped 5.4 percent quarter on quarter and fell 16.2 percent year on year to INR 879 or $13.1.
Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal said: “Pricing continues to remain untenable. However, led by our successful bundles, content partnerships and handset upgrade programs, our mobile data traffic surged 355 percent.”
Airtel Africa revenues grew 13.9 percent.
Airtel Africa’s mobile data traffic increased 75 percent to 78 billion MBs from 44 billion MBs.
Data customers of Airtel Africa increased 45.2 percent to 26.4 million from 18.2 million. Airtel Money customer base increased to 11.8 million, boosting the total transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 43 percent to $ 6.1 billion.
Airtel Africa said EBITDA margin increased by 7.8 percent to 36.4 percent due to cost control initiatives.
“With 4G services live across 9 countries and continuing up-gradation of capacities across the OPCOs, we remain best placed to capture the growing data market. We have rolled out ~1,000 broadband towers during the quarter,” Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said.
Airtel Africa’s Capex increased 12 percent to $49 million.