Bharti Airtel MD Gopal Vittal highlighted rising ARPU in India in its fiscal Q3 2024 (the period to 31 December 2023) but complained even at a higher level its return on capital remains low, pointing to the need for further tariff increases.

In an earnings statement, Vittal referred to a critical need to amend tariffs as being essential to the overall health of India’s mobile industry.

Net profit grew 54 per cent year-on-year to INR24.4 billion ($293.8 million) and revenue 5.9 per cent to INR379 billion.

Domestic revenue grew 11.4 per cent to INR278.8 billion.

ARPU rose 7.8 per to INR208.

Its subscriber base increased 4 per cent to 345.6 million.

The operator underscored gains in the post-paid segment with net additions of 900,000, excluding IoT connections.

Average monthly data usage rose 8.2 per cent to 22GB.

Africa revenue increased 21 per cent to $1.3 billion.

ARPU grew 8.8 per cent to $2.60.

Mobile subscribers increased 9.1 per cent to 151.2 million.

Data consumption rose 19 per cent to 5.5GB a month.

Airtel Money revenue grew 33.4 per cent to $230 million, with active users rising 19.5 per cent to 37.5 million and ARPU up 9.1 per cent to $2.10.

Group capex for the first nine months of fiscal 2024 was up 30 per cent to INR248.6 billion.

It added around 45,000 towers during 2023 for a total of 307,663 sites.