Airtel loss slashed as price rises pay off - Mobile World Live

Airtel loss slashed as price rises pay off

28 OCT 2020

Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal noted the company bucked traditional weakness in its fiscal Q2 (calendar Q3), as growing numbers of 4G users and a hike in tariffs in 2019 combined to deliver the operator’s highest-ever consolidated quarterly revenue.

In a statement, Vittal cited a bump in monthly data consumption as a revenue driver and hailed “strong engagement” of customers as evidence the operator’s digital platform strategy was on the right track. Another highlight was “steady growth momentum” in its business unit.

The operator ended the period with 152.7 million 4G users, up 48.1 per cent year-on-year, with daily traffic up from 48.9PB to 77.3PB.

In the quarter it added more than 5,000 LTE sites, taking the total above 200,000.

Airtel explained it continued to tackle the lingering effects of Covid-19 (coronavirus), with ongoing promotion of digital channels for top-ups and payments.

It also noted stores and offices had reopened, insurance arranged for staff, and financial aid provided to partners.

Revenue of INR257.8 billion ($3.5 billion) was 22 per cent higher, with net loss reduced from INR230.4 billion in fiscal Q2 2020 to INR7.6 billion.

Mobile service revenue in India grew 25.9 per cent to INR138.3 billion, while its South Asia number was flat at INR1.1 billion. Its tower business reaped INR17.7 billion, up INR1 billion. India ARPU increased from INR128 in fiscal Q2 2020 to INR162 in the recent quarter.

Its Africa operation last week revealed revenue gains, but a slight decline in net profit.

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