Bharti Airtel reported its fastest revenue growth in seven quarters in fiscal Q4, with a sharp jump in mobile data driving a double-digit increase in turnover across its operations in 20 countries.
Mobile data traffic soared 76 per cent in the quarter, fueling a 44 per cent increase in mobile data revenue to INR44.3 billion ($665 million). Its total customer base rose 10 per cent to 357 million from a year ago.
The operator’s net profit for the quarter ending 31 March was up 2.8 per cent to INR12.9 billion, while EBITDA rose 14 per cent to INR91.9 billion. Consolidated revenue rose 10 per cent year-on-year to INR250 billion, with turnover in India, its largest market, growing 9.9 per cent to INR183 billion.
For the full year, its net profit increased 5.8 per cent to INR54.8 billion on revenue of INR965 billion, which was up 7 per cent.
Data growth accelerates
In India, where it holds the number one operator spot, Airtel expanded its data customer base by 26 per cent and broadband user base by 80 per cent to 35.5 million compared with a year ago. Total mobile connections rose 11 per cent to 251 million.
Mobile data revenue in the country grew 45 per cent year-on-year to INR33.6 billion and now accounts for 23 per cent of mobile revenue, up from 17.6 per cent a year ago.
The operator said it rolled out more than 63,000 mobile broadband base stations in its home market.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO for India and South Asia, said voice volumes increased 10.8 per cent, the fastest growth in 18 quarters.
Africa revenue grew 4.5 per cent to $1.03 billion. In constant currency terms, and adjusted for the impact of divestment of tower assets, revenue was up 5.9 per cent, the highest rate in six quarters.
Data revenue increased 43 per cent to $161 million. Data revenue now contributes 15.7 per cent of overall Africa revenue compared with 11.5 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year.
Its mobile customer base in Africa rose 5.6 per cent to 80.6 million, while its data user base rose 28.5 per cent. Data traffic expanded 110 per cent, and data ARPU increased 9.4 per cent to $3.50.
Its active Airtel Money customer base in Africa increased to 9.6 million, boosting the total transaction value on the platform by 74 per cent to $4.9 billion.