Indian cellco Ideal Cellular has reported a 17.2% quarter-on-quarter increase in net profits, despite declining revenues and a shrinking customer base. Idea booked profits of INR12.313 billion (USD229.74 million) in its fiscal Q2 2013 – ended 30 September 2012 – compared to INR10.502 billion three months earlier and INR7.884 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues for the period under review slipped by 3.4% q-o-q to INR53.481 million as subscribers fell from 117.2 million to 115.5 million, though OPEX also decreased by 3.8% to INR40.865 million. Earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were INR12.615 million for the period with EBITDA margin of 23.6%.
Idea claimed 3.7 million 3G subscribers, more than doubling the cellco’s total year-on-year from 1.5 million in fiscal Q2 2012. Aggressive pricing from the cellco has seen ARPU drop to INR148 from INR156 in fiscal Q1 2013, whilst average revenue per MB (ARMB) decreased to INR0.317 from INR0.328 over the same period. Idea added 620,000 data users, including both 2.5G and 3G users, during the period, increasing the total to 18.918 million; total data traffic grew by 21.8% q-o-q to 8,339TB.