India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel today reported 76.5 percent decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 343 crore for the September quarter.
Airtel's total revenue fell 11.7 percent to Rs 21,777 crore during the second quarter of 2017-18, from Rs 24,651.50 crore in the year-ago period.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said: "The financial stress in the industry continues due to double-digit revenue decline and will be further accentuated by the reduction in IUC rates in the next quarter. This will eventually force operator consolidation and exits as we have witnessed in the recent past.
"Airtel remains committed to its goal of increasing revenue market share in this competitive environment by providing superior customer experience and strategically
investing in building more data capacities," he added.
Meanwhile, India revenues for Q2'18 at Rs 16,728 crore have declined by 13.0 percent Y-o-Y primarily led by the mobile drop of 16.8 percent Y-o-Y. The mobile market continues to experience value erosion and financial stress led by competitive pressures.
However, mobile data traffic has grown fourfold to 784 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 178 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile broadband customers increased by 33.6 percent to 55.2 million from 41.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
The company's consolidated net debt rose to Rs 91,480 crore against Rs 87,840 crore in the previous quarter.
The company said it had "stepped up" the CapEx investments in the quarter on the back of data coverage and capacity.
Raghunath Mandava, MD, and CEO, Africa, said: "Airtel Africa underlying revenues grew by 2.8 percent Y-o-Y with net revenues growing 6.3 percent on the back of the increase in data penetration. Data traffic grew by 83.8 percent Y-o-Y. Airtel Money continues to lead with transaction values growing over 30 percent Y-o-Y. Our efforts to create a profitable business model for Africa continues and we have delivered EBITDA margin of 32.1 percent, with underlying margins up 9.1 percent Y-o-Y.
"This has also now enabled the business to sustainably generate positive free cash flows. Our teams remain focused on accelerating growth through the three pillars of increasing mobile penetration, growing the data business and expanding the Airtel money base," Mandava added.