India’s Idea Cellular has revealed a fall in consolidated net profit for the twelve months ended 31 March 2009, reporting a 1.1% decline year-on-year to INR2.74 billion (USD54.32 million). The decline was primarily attributed to losses of INR254 million and INR36 million at cellco Spice Communications and telecom tower business Indus respectively. Standalone net profit however rose 9.5% against the same period a year earlier to INR3.03 billion. Both standalone and consolidated revenues for the group rose, to INR27.64 billion and INR29.36 billion respectively.
For its standalone operations Idea reported an increase of around 62% to its subscriber base over the twelve-month period, bringing it to a total of 38.9 million subscribers. With subscribers to Spice Communications included, Idea reported almost 80% subscriber growth in the year, with five million customers added in the last quarter alone. The operator noted however that fierce competition is pushing call rates down, impacting on margins.