Airtel revenue drops 3% due to Jio and currency issues

Airtel India for mobileTelecom operator Bharti Airtel reported 3 percent drop in revenue to Rs 23,336 crore in the third quarter of fiscal 2017 – primarily due to Jio 4G impact and currency crisis.

Airtel said growth in consolidated revenue from India and Africa operations fell by 3.2 percent on account of Nigeria currency devaluation.

Growth in mobile data revenues for the quarter was flat at Rs 4,049 crore.

Reliance Jio, which has all India 4G presence, offered free voice and data services and added 72.4 million 4G subscribers till December end. The company is on its way to add 100 million before March 31, 2017.

Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airel, earlier warned that the Indian telecom industry is facing revenue related pressure due to the free offer from Reliance Jio.

Airtel India revenue

Airtel said its India revenues rose 1.8 percent to Rs 18,013 crore. Airtel admitted that the slow growth was primarily due to free voice and data offering by a new operator. Airtel India achieved 17.7 percent growth in Digital TV, 12.5 percent growth in Airtel Business and 10.8 percent increase in Homes.

The presence of Jio had impacted Airtel India’s mobile data revenues that dipped 3 percent to Rs 3,087 crore.

Airtel’s mobile broadband customers increased 22 percent to 37.7 million from 30.9 million in the same quarter last year. Incidentally, Reliance Jio could add 72 million customers to its 4G network between September and December.

Airtel said mobile data revenues contribute to 22.8 percent of mobile India revenues against 23.1 percent.

“The quarter has seen turbulence due to the continued predatory pricing by a new operator. The present termination costs at 14 paisa which are well below cost has resulted in a tsunami of minutes terminating into our network. This has led to an unprecedented revenue decline for the industry, pressure on margins and an impact on the financial health of the telecom sector,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia.

Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa said its revenues grew 6 percent. Data revenues at $153 million grew 24 percent, led by increase in data customer base by 21.3 percent and traffic by 91 percent. Data ARPU was flat at $2.9. Data revenues contribute to 16.7 percent of Africa revenues against 14.2 percent.

Airtel Money has a customer base of 8.8 million, increasing the total transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 32.8 percent to $4 billion.

“Our efforts to improve the quality of customer acquisitions have resulted in reduction in customer churn to 4.9 percent from 6.0 percent. Data consumption and revenues have grown by 91 percent and 24 percent respectively, led by stronger data networks,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa.

Baburajan K
[email protected]