Idea Cellular revenue drops again due to price cut, invests $1.05 bn

Idea Cellular has revealed another quarter of poor performance with its revenue plummeting to new level.

The company has also revealed that its Capex (capital expenditure) for the last financial year touched INR 7,000 crore or $1.05 billion at a time when Reliance Jio and Airtel are investing heavily in expanding their telecom coverage targeting mobile data customers in India.

Idea Cellular, a company promoted by Aditya Birla group, said its revenue reached INR 61,373 million in Q4FY18 against INR 65,097 million in Q3FY18, INR 74,654 million in Q2FY18, INR 81,665 million in Q1FY18 and INR 81,261 million in Q4FY17.
Idea Cellular revenue Q4 fiscal 2017-18
The poor show from Idea Cellular, the number three telecom operator in India, was due to the effect of the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016 and the latest competition in the Indian wireless market.

Idea Cellular’s ARPU dipped to INR 105 in Q4FY18 from INR 114 in Q3FY18, INR 132 in Q2FY18 INR 141 in Q1FY18 and INR 142 in Q4FY17.

During the year, the negative factors of steep reduction in domestic and international MTC settlement rate and rate pressure on voice and mobile data services as high ARPU consumers migrate to lower priced unlimited voice bundled data plans resulted in 20.5 percent decline in Idea’s gross revenue in FY18 to INR 282,789 million vs INR 355,757 million in FY17.
Idea Capex in fiscal 2017-18
The tough phase impacted Idea’s EBITDA during the current financial year by 41 percent to INR 60,476 million vs INR 102,436 million in FY17. The EBITDA margin for the fiscal year declined to 21.4 percent from 28.8 percent in FY17.

Idea Cellular has rolled out 11,345 broadband sites across India. Idea Cellular has 131,446 cell sites for 2G and 154,910 cell sites for broadband. The company does not share specific number of cell sites for 3G and the hotly contested 4G services.

Idea Cellular has laid out over 156,800 km optical fibre cable (OFC) in comparison to over 144,600 km one year back. Capex for Q4FY18 stands at INR 21.1 billion, taking the overall FY18 Capex to INR 70 billion or $1.05 billion. Idea Cellular’s Capex is relatively much lower as compared with Airtel.

The main achievement for Idea Cellular was the reduction in Opex to INR 46,901 million in Q4FY18 from INR 52,864 million in Q3FY18, INR 59,638 million in Q2FY18, INR 62,911 million in Q1FY18 and INR 60,063 million in Q4FY17.

Idea Cellular achieved EBITDA of INR 14,473 million in Q4FY18, INR 12,233 million in Q3FY18, INR 15,016 million in Q2FY18, INR 18,753 million in Q1FY18 and INR 21,199 million in Q4FY17.

EBITDA margin of Idea Cellular reached 23.6 percent Q4FY18, 18.1 percent Q3FY18
20.1 percent Q2FY18, 23.0 percent Q1FY18 and 26.1 percent Q4FY17.

EBIT of Cellular was INR –6,382 million in Q4FY18, INR –9,181 million in Q3FY18,
INR –6,127 million in Q2FY18, INR –1,926 million in Q1FY18 and INR +1,314 million in Q4FY17.

Baburajan K