The country's largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, today reported 60.9 per cent rise in consolidated net profit during the first quarter of current fiscal to Rs 1,108 crore on higher growth from mobile data business.
The Sunil Mittal-led company had reported a net profit of Rs 689 crore in the April-June quarter of last fiscal, it said in a statement.
The company's total revenue rose 13.3 per cent to Rs 22,962 crore in the reported quarter as compared to Rs 20,264 crore in the corresponding period.
"Consolidated mobile data revenues at Rs 2,204 crore grew 73.9 per cent year-on-year, consistently contributing more than one-third of the incremental revenues," Airtel said.
The mobile data traffic grew significantly by 97.1 per cent to 64.2 billion MBs during the quarter as compared to 32.6 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year.
The company now offers 3G services in all the countries of its operations in Africa and South Asia.
"Mobile data revenues now represent 9.6 per cent of the total revenues as compared to 6.3 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile data contributed 34.7 per cent of the overall incremental revenue of the company," Airtel said.
The net finance cost during the quarter declined 18.1 per cent to Rs 956.5 crore as compared to Rs 1,167.6 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
"This reduction is mainly on account of lower derivative and foreign exchange losses primarily due to a stable Indian Rupee in this quarter," the company said.
The net debt of the company stood at Rs 57,744.3 crore at the end of June 2014.
The company said that for India, mobile data revenue grew 68.2 per cent to Rs 1,559 crore, uplifted by an increase in data customer base and higher usage per customer. Mobile data revenues contributed 12.4 per cent of mobile (India) revenues vis-à-vis 8.2 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year.
"Our revenue momentum in India has been sustained during Q1 with a growth of 11.8 per cent. While the pace across all segments has been satisfying, mobile data and DTH stood out with a growth of 68.2 per cent and 20.7 per cent, respectively," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.
At the end of June 2014, the company had 20.94 crore mobile users in India with the average revenue per user (ARPU) improving marginally to Rs 202 during the quarter from Rs 200 in the same period last year.
Airtel said its customer acquisition and retention strategy in the country is consistently yielding positive returns in terms of reduced customer churn, which has now dropped to 2.7 per cent as compared to 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of last year.
Total minutes on network in India increased 4.8 per cent to 270.8 billion as compared to 258.4 billion in the corresponding quarter last year and voice realisation per minute improved to 38.08 paise, an increase of 1.49 paise over the corresponding quarter last year.
Data customer base in India stood at 3.93 crore, of which 1.25 crore are 3G customers. Data ARPU improved 8 per cent to Rs 139 for the reported period from Rs 128 in corresponding period.
Airtel Africa witnessed 10 per cent growth in total revenues to USD 1,164 million for the reported quarter as compared to USD 1,062 million last year.
The net loss before exceptional items for Africa during the quarter was USD 137 million as compared to a loss of USD 52 million in the corresponding quarter last year, mainly due to forex losses.
The data revenue from Africa stood at USD 102 million for the reported quarter, contributing 8.8 per cent of overall Africa revenues vis-à-vis 5.3 per cent in the corresponding quarter.
"Telecoms are back to growth in Africa, this time spearheaded by Internet and mobile money. Airtel has grown by 12.1 per cent in constant currency terms, with exceptional performance in mobile data (85.5 per cent)," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (Africa) Christian de Faria said.