Revenue of Uninor, Telenor’s Indian subsidiary, has decreased 29.5 percent to Rs 733 crore (NOK 728 million) in Q2 2013 from NOK 1,034 million in the same period last year.
Uninor, which has cut down its India exposure due to spectrum related issues, is currently present in the six telecom circles of UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Uninor’s operating loss in Q2 2013 was NOK 107 million compared with NOK 619 million.
Capex (Capital expenditure) of Uninor during the second quarter stood at Rs 41.2 crore (NOK 41 million) against NOK 36 million in Q1 2013.
Jon Fredrik Baksaas, president & CEO, Uninor, noted that regulatory issues remain a challenge in India during Q2. Telenor continues to strengthen the “sabse sasta -most affordable” value proposition in the remaining six operating circles. Together, these circles account for more than 50 percent of India’s population giving Uninor the ability to serve every second person in India.
The number of mobile subscriptions of Uninor increased 0.9 million in the quarter taking the total subscriber base to 24.5 million.
In the second quarter of 2012, the comparable six circle subscription base closed at 23.5 million. The monthly churn rate was 6 percent.
The quality of the customer base improved, resulting in an increase of ARPU in local currency from Rs 94 in first quarter to Rs 97 in second quarter.
Uninor’s revenues in local currency in the six circles increased by 7 percent compared to second quarter last year despite negative development in Maharashtra following closure of neighboring Mumbai circle earlier this year.
The EBITDA loss improved to NOK 153 million mainly as a result of the revenue development and product optimization positively impacting the gross margin.
According to Telenor, though Telenor has fulfilled its part of the conditions for continued operations in India, the Indian authorities have still not given the necessary approvals for the business transfer from Uninor to Telewings, nor have they issued the unified licenses required in order to utilize the spectrum obtained by Telewings in the GSM auction that was closed on 14 November 2012.
As a result thereof, Telenor is operating its business in India through Uninor under the old spectrum as an interim measure until the business is transferred to Telewings, consistent with the intention of the Supreme Court order not to be disruptive to the business of successful bidders in the spectrum auctions.