Vodafone Idea announced network integration efforts were ahead of schedule with the company on track to reach business synergy targets two years earlier than initially anticipated.
During its first full quarterly results since the company was created out of what was Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, it reported progress across all aspects of uniting the businesses.
However, the tough market conditions in India experienced by its two constituent operators continued.
In the three months to end-December 2018 (fiscal Q3 2019), the company made a loss of INR50 billion ($699 million) compared with an estimated loss of INR14 billion in the same quarter of 2017, taking results from operations which now make-up the new company.
Vodafone Idea said the two figures are not directly comparable and included a number of impairments.
During fiscal Q3 it spent INR7.43 billion on merger costs, took a charge of INR350 million on “network realignment” and incurred a number of other one-off costs.
The company added synergies of merging the two operators are expected to achieve run-rate savings of INR84 billion during its 2021 financial year, two years ahead of the target set when the merger was announced in March 2017.
Network integration was said to be ahead of target and it has completed harmonisation of tariffs between the two brands. It added the company would “shortly” complete integration of distribution channels, retail footprint and customer service operations.
Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma said: “We are moving faster than expected on integration, specifically on the network front, and are well on track to deliver synergy targets.”
The merger was completed at the end of August 2018, creating the largest operator in India by connections and displacing former leader Bharti Airtel in the process.Subscribe to our daily newsletter