India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel reported 75 percent decline in its first quarter profit from Rs 1,462 crore to 367 crores in the three months ended 30 June.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said:"The pricing disruption in the Indian telecom market caused by the entry of a new operator continued with industry revenues declining over 15 percent Year-on-Year (Y-o- Y), creating further stress on sector profitability, cash flows, and leverage."
He said, "Consequently, our revenues declined 10 percent and EBITDA margin eroded by 5.3 percent Y-o-Y. We remain committed to providing the best value & experience to our customers and continue to invest towards it. As a result, our network witnessed data and voice traffic growth of 200 percent & 34 percent Y-o-Y respectively. We also added 5.2 million data customers in the last quarter - our highest ever."
The company says that India revenues for Q1'18 at Rs 17,244 crore have declined by 10.0 percent Y-o-Y primarily led by the mobile drop of 14.1 percent Y-o-Y.
Mobile market remains turbulent in the current quarter as well, due to disruptive pricing by a new operator.
However, mobile data traffic has grown three fold to 472 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 158 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile broadband customers increased by 33.7 percent to 48.9 million from 36.6 million in the corresponding quarter last year.
Meanwhile, Raghunath Mandava, MD, and CEO, Africa, said: "Airtel Africa organic revenue growth for the quarter was 1.5 percent Y-o-Y, though our efforts to optimize unprofitable revenue streams resulted in higher net revenue growth of 3.3 percent. New KYC norms impacted customer additions and consequently revenue growth in the quarter.
The data story in Africa is unfolding well with consumption and revenue increasing by 75 percent & 11.3 percent respectively on a Y-o-Y basis. Our focus to deliver a more profitable business model for Africa has resulted in another quarter of EBITDA margin improvement, with underlying margins expanding by 8.1 percent Y-o-Y from 19.9 percent to 28.0 percent."