Indian tower operator Bharti Infratel, benefiting from higher operator capex and falling energy costs, reported strong profit and revenue growth in the last quarter.
Its profit for fiscal Q3 ending 31 December increased 23 per cent year-on-year to INR5.08 billion ($82.4 million), while revenue grew 9 per cent to INR29.49 billion.
It is owned by Bharti Airtel, the country’s leading mobile player with a 23 per cent market share.
Infratel’s capex increased 57 per cent during the quarter to INR5.75 billion. Its EBITDA margin rose 2.1 points to 43.3 per cent from a year ago.
The company also operates an independent tower-sharing joint venture with Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, in which Infratel has a 42 per cent equity interest. At the end of 2014 Infratel owned and operated 36,747 towers with 74,331 co-locations in 11 regions in India, while Indus operated 1,15,040 towers with 2,48,611 co-locations in 15 areas.
Infratel’s power and fuel costs increased 2 per cent while its overall expenses rose 4 per cent to INR16.7 billion.