Airtel Q3 Results: Telco Logs 54 Per Cent Rise In Net Profit To Rs 2,442 Crore

Bharti Airtel, one of India’s leading telecom companies, announced a 54 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit for the third quarter (Q3) ended December, reaching Rs 2,442.2 crore. This surge is primarily attributed to the expansion of its high-value customer base. Under the leadership of Managing Director Gopal Vittal, Bharti Airtel enforced a 56 per cent hike in rates for its prepaid mobile customers in January 2023, requiring a minimum payment of Rs 155 for nearly a month-long service.

Despite the current growth, Vittal hinted at a necessity for further rate increases in mobile services, underscoring the company’s low return on investment at 9.4 per cent. Comparatively, the telco clocked a net profit of Rs 1,588.2 crore during the same period last year, according to regulatory filings released on Monday.

In the face of currency devaluation in African markets, the consolidated revenue from operations for the third quarter of the fiscal year rose by 5.8 per cent to Rs 37,899.5 crore, up from Rs 35,804.4 crore in the previous year.

Gopal Vittal highlighted the sustained momentum in revenue from the Indian business, which grew sequentially by 3 per cent, while acknowledging the impact of the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira and Malawian Kwacha on consolidated revenue.

During the December quarter, Airtel’s total customer base expanded by approximately 8 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to 55.1 crore, with the Indian customer base growing to 39.7 crore, up 7.5 per cent. In India, Airtel’s revenue surged by 11.4 per cent YoY to Rs 27,811 crore during the quarter, accompanied by a 7.7 per cent increase in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) to Rs 208.

The company’s capital expenditure amounted to Rs 9,274 crore for the quarter, with significant investments in network infrastructure and coverage expansion. Airtel added 2.82 crore 4G/5G data customers over the past year, with an average data usage per customer standing at 22 GB per month.

The home business segment, including fixed broadband services, witnessed a remarkable 23 per cent YoY growth, with the customer base expanding by 29.2 per cent to nearly 73 lakh. Despite the growth, the company’s net debt slightly decreased to Rs 2.02 lakh crore from Rs 2.09 lakh crore a year earlier.

Moreover, Bharti Airtel prepaid a high-cost debt of Rs 8,325 crore in January, marking a total repayment of Rs 16,349 crore in the current financial year towards part prepayment of deferred liabilities related to spectrum acquired in the 2015 auction.

The total employee base of the company grew by 4.12 per cent to 17,924 employees.