Telenor Indian telecom biz Uninor posts 3% revenue growth in Q4 to $136 million

Uninor, the Indian telecom venture of Telenor, on Wednesday said its fourth quarter 2013 revenue rose 3.2 percent to $136 million (NOK 836 million).

Telenor, announcing the financial result, said its full year revenue from India dipped 19.2 percent to $489 million (NOK 3,001 million).

Operating loss of Uninor has improved to NOK 132 million in Q4 2013 from NOK 444 million in Q4 2012. Operating loss in 2013 was NOK 576 million from NOK 6,283 million.

Capex decreased substantially to NOK 84 million in Q4 2013 from NOK 4,384 million in the same quarter previous year. In 2013, Uninor invested NOK 204 million towards Capex against NOK 4,526 million in 2012.

“In India, our operating model resulted in solid trends in the second half of the year. Strong subscriber growth and increased revenue per customer resulted in an organic sales growth of 36 percent in the fourth quarter. We are now taking a lead challenger position in the six circles we are present,”’ said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president & CEO of Telenor.

Uninor India revenue in Q4

By the end of 2013, Telenor’s operation in India covers six telecom circles. The monthly churn rate continues to decline, and was 4.5 percent this quarter.

The subscription base grew by 2.0 million taking the total subscription base to 28.0 million. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the comparable six circle subscription base closed at 22.2 million.

Uninor ARPU increased 17 percent in local currency as a result of improved quality of the customer base.

Revenues in local currency in the six circles increased by 36 percent compared to fourth quarter last year.

Gross margin in these circles improved by 4 percentage points to 66 percent due to price increases, Uninor said.

EBITDA continued to improve as a result of increased revenues, improved gross margin and stable operational expenditures. Excluding a bonus pay-out, the EBITDA for the fourth quarter was NOK -54 million.

The operating cash flow was stable compared to previous quarters, as the launch of new sites and a pay out of bonuses added Opex and Capex this quarter.