India’s Reliance Communications continued to lose customers in the last quarter, with overall connections down 5 per cent from a year ago and 18 per cent from the same period in 2012.
Even as its 3G connections increased from 9.1 million to 15.1 million year-on-year, the number of data customers fell 12.6 per cent to 29.7 million.
The operator’s net profit fell 77 per cent to INR1.53 billion ($24.88 million) in its fiscal Q2 ending 30 September, due mainly to a one-off exceptional gain a year ago. Its revenue dropped 7.3 per cent to INR54 billion, with a revenue fall in its global business operation offsetting a small gain in its India operations.
Voice revenue in India increased 1.3 per cent to INR34.29 billion while domestic data revenue was up 8 per cent to INR11.02 billion. Its global enterprise unit saw revenue fall 6.5 per cent from a year ago to INR10.6 billion, with data revenue declining 17 per cent. Its India operations accounted for 82 per cent of revenue (up from 80 per cent in 2013).
EBITDA declined 21 per cent to INR18.3 billion and its EBITDA margin fell to 33.8 per cent from 39.9 per cent in its Q2 2013.
India’s number 3 player with 111.3 million mobile connections (11.5 per cent market share) did manage to reduce churn during the period – from 5.9 per cent to 4.3 per cent – and ARPU increased 15 per cent to INR137 ($1.23).
Non-voice revenue as a percentage of total service revenue inched up from 23.1 per cent last year to 24.3 per cent. Data traffic was up 19 per cent.