Airtel Q4 net profit plunges to Rs83cr

MUMBAI: Testifying yet another quarter of ‘war of attrition’ to establish the supremacy in the country’s telecom market, Bharti Airtel Ltd witnessed heavy drop in its fourth quarter profit.

The company has reported a net income of Rs83 crore for the fourth quarter against Rs373 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

The full year consolidated revenue was at Rs83,688 crore and the net income for the period was at Rs1,099 crore.

Interestingly, consolidated mobile data and voice traffic grew 505 per cent and 55 per cent respectively during the year under review.

The Airtel has crossed 300-million mobile customer mark in India as the year drew to an end. The consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter at Rs19,634 crore de-grew 5.4 per cent year-on-year, according to an official statement from the company.

The company’s consolidated net debt has increased to Rs95,228 crore from Rs91,714 crore in the previous quarter. Airtel’s board has declared a final dividend of Rs2.5 per share (face value of Rs5 per share) for the financial year ended March 31, 2018. Together with the interim dividend of Rs2.84 per share, total dividend for the year comes to Rs5.34 per share, which is entirely a pass through of dividend from the subsidiaries.

In a statement, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said, “The telecom industry continues to witness below cost, artificially suppressed pricing. Industry revenues were further adversely impacted this quarter due to the reduction in International termination rates.”

The company has ended the financial year with its highest ever capital expenditure of Rs240 billion. The company said it would continue the rollout momentum next year as well.

The acquisition of TIGO in Rwanda was completed during the quarter and it would result in more than 3 million TIGO customers joining the Airtel family.

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