India price war offsets Africa gains at Airtel - Mobile World Live

India price war offsets Africa gains at Airtel

26 OCT 2018

Bharti Airtel suffered another quarter of falling profit and revenue in its fiscal Q2, led by a double-digit drop in sales and a sequential decline in subscribers in India.

Net profit for the quarter ending 30 September dropped 65.4 per cent year-on-year to INR1.19 billion ($16.3 million), with total revenue down 6.2 per cent to INR204 billion.

Revenue from Indian operations declined 10.6 per cent to INR149 billion, which the operator in a statement said was due to “continued ARPU down-trading impacted by competitive pricing pressures”.

Gopal Vittal, CEO for India and South Asia, said: “Led by our focus on quality customers through simplified pricing and content partnerships, the ARPU decline moderated in this quarter.”

Airtel’s subscriber base in India increased 14.4 per cent year-on-year to nearly 330 million in its fiscal Q2, albeit the figure was 6.6 million down on a peak at end-June.

Vittal said it remains committed to investing to enhance capacity and deployed more than 27,000 broadband sites during the quarter: mobile data volume was up 239 per cent year-on-year.

Revenue, sub gains
In Africa, revenue rose 10.9 per cent year-on-year to $824 million.

Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa, said: “We have stepped up our capex spends during the quarter to build a formidable LTE network. This positions us well to expand our profitable growth journey by enhancing customer experience with best-in-class network and products.”

He said Airtel Money throughput grew 31 per cent on a year-on-year to $6.3 billion, as the active customer base for the service increased to 12.9 million.

Mobile subs rose 14.9 per cent year-on-year to 94.1 million at end September. Data customers increased 32 per cent to 27.1 million.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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