Vodafone Idea, the largest mobile operator in India after its recent merger, is aiming to reduce costs by more than INR140 billion ($1.97 billion) by completing the integration of the merged companies two years ahead of schedule, The Economic Times (ET) reported.
The target date to fully integrate Vodafone India and Idea Cellular’s operations was moved to fiscal 2021 from fiscal 2023. The company said in a statement the move will allow it to save an additional INR84 billion and consolidating the two companies’ network equipment and spectrum will reduce costs by another INR62 billion, the newspaper reported.
The operator set a capex budget of INR270 billion for fiscal 2019-20.
It also plans to sell off its 11 per cent interest in Indus Towers, valued at an estimated INR50 billion, to reduce its debt of INR1.26 trillion. More than 70 per cent of its debt is related to spectrum purchases, ET said.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, the company’s chairman, reportedly held discussions with finance ministry officials to seek more time to make spectrum-related payments of INR9 billion due in March 2019. The Indian government, seeking to avoid a default, is considering easing the terms for spectrum-related payments for the telecoms industry.
The operator, with a 34 per cent market share by subscribers, reported a loss of INR49.7 billion in its first quarter of operation and said it will explore raising up to INR250 billion in new capital.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back