Bharti Airtel’s bottom line weakened in its fiscal Q3 2022 (ending 31 December 2021), as ARPU fell in India and it raised capex to accelerate site deployments and improve coverage.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO for India and South Asia, stated Airtel delivered another quarter of sustained performance across all business segments, noting a mobile price hike was well received, with the full impact expected in the current fiscal quarter.
“Our balance sheet is robust, and we are now generating healthy free cash flows. This has enabled us to prepay some of our spectrum liabilities to the government thereby reducing the interest burden.”
Vittal also highlighted a recent $1 billion investment pledge from Google, “a strong validation of Airtel’s role” in India’s digital revolution.
“Our emerging digital services portfolio across Airtel IQ, AdTech, digital market place, Nxtra and digital banking positions us well to build an Airtel of the future.”
Net profit fell 2.8 per cent year-on-year to INR8.3 billion ($110.9 million), with total revenue up 13 per cent to INR298.7 billion.
Mobile revenue in India rose 9 per cent to INR160.9 billion, with ARPU down 2.2 per cent despite a 2.2 per cent to INR163. Subscriber numbers grew 4.9 per cent to 322.9 million, with 4G users accounting for 62.8 per cent.
Average data usage increased 11.7 per cent to 18.7GB a month.
Revenue in Africa grew 20 per cent to $1.2 billion, with ARPU up 5.2 per cent to $1.60.
It added 3.1 million subscribers for a total of 125.8 million and average data consumption rose 35.2 per cent to 3.6GB.
Airtel Money customers increased 19.6 per cent to 25.7 million, with revenue up 19.6 per cent to $140 million.
India capex in the opening nine months of Airtel’s fiscal year increased 10 per cent to INR109.4 billion, with a 7 per cent rise in Africa to $403 million.
Airtel ended the quarter with 748,300 broadband base stations in India, 180,000 more than fiscal Q3 2021.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back