Bharti Airtel, which registered a 32.6 percent decrease in net profit in fiscal 2010-11 at $1,354 million from $1,989 million in the previous fiscal, has made up for it with its 51.3 percent increase in consolidated revenues, providing a total revenue of Rs 59,467 crore for the year ended March 31, 2011.
The consolidated total revenues for the full year ended March 31, 2011 of $13,319 million grew by 42.1 percent y-o-y lifted by the African operations. Bharti Airtel which began its Africa operations last year, with the largest-ever Indian operator investment of $10.7 billion in Zain Africa, and later rebranded its logo to signify its international operations in 19 countries, has reaped the rewards of its investments this year.
Africa continued its upward trend with revenues of $924 million, contributing to a total net income of $314 million for Q4 FY 11 for Bharti Airtel, which is an improvement of 7.5 percent from its last quarter, which stood at $289 million. Speaking about its success in Africa, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and MD, Bharty Airtel said, In Africa, we are rapidly expanding our network coverage, improving distribution width and increasing our efficiency and productivity standards”.
In January this year, Bharti Airtel signed a 10-year contract with IBM manage its IT infrastructure and support airtel’s mobile services in Africa. The completion of the negotiations for this contract, spanning 16 African operations, was announced towards the end of last month. This partnership is expected to significantly boost airtel’s network in Africa. The operator has also been consistently opening call centres in Africa to aid subscribers in that region.
Remarking on the 33.6 percent consolidated EBITDA margin decline this year, Kamlesh Bhatia, Principal Analyst, Gartner said, Bharti’s results reflect the expected drag from their Africa operations. This was expected as the company attempts to streamline their operations in the African sub-continent and service the large debit. Centralization of operations and spinning-off the tower business should ease pressure and un-lock value in the short-medium term. Socio-economic issues in the region will however continue to be cause for concern”.
The recent news of Bharti Airtel bidding for South African telecommunications major, MTN, which would complete the former’s biggest foreign acquisition deal, adding to its existing African operations, also spells brighter hopes for airtel’s Africa customers, who are still facing hurdles with the new network.