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Airtel reports results for Q2 2018-19; price war continues to hurt margins

October 26, 2018
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Bharti Airtel reported a net profit of Rs 1.19 billion in the July-September 2018 quarter, up from Rs 970 million recorded in preceding quarter, aided by a one-time deferred tax gain (of about Rs 26.33 billion). The operator revenue rose 1.7 per cent sequentially to Rs 204.23 billion. The operating profit fell 7.7 per cent to Rs 62.44 billion. Meanwhile, the operating margin narrowed 300 basis points quarter-on-quarter to 30.5 per cent.

When compared on an yearly basis, the net profit was down by almost 65 per cent Rs 3.43 billion during quarter-ended September 2017 to Rs 1.19 billion in the quarter under consideration.

Price war triggered by the new entrant in the market has been hurting the profitability of incumbents. During the past two quarters, Bharti Airtel has only been able to post a profit due to its deferred tax gains.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the India Mobile Congress 2018, Bharti Airtel’s Chairman Sunil Mittal had commented that the telecom sector continues to be highly-taxed, and the issue of high levies should be resolved.

Airtel’s ARPU stood at Rs 101 during the quarter under consideration.

Airtel’s Africa business, however, continued to do well. Revenue from the region rose 6.87 per cent over the previous quarter to Rs 56.47 billion. The operating margin from African operations stood at 37.1 percent.

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