Idea Cellular, India’s third largest cellco by subscribers, has booked a 16.4% annual increase in gross revenue for its first quarter, ended 30 June 2015, on the back of strong customer expansion and stable ARPU. Turnover for the period to end-June 2015 was INR87.98 billion (USD1.38 billion), compared to INR75.61 billion twelve months earlier, and INR84.23 billion in the previous quarter. EBITDA, meanwhile, grew from INR25.04 billion to INR32.28 billion year-on-year, with an EBITDA margin of 36.7%. Despite annual increases in interest and financing costs (INR2.79 billion, +22.7%) and taxes (INR5.02 billion, +27.6%), profit after tax was up 27.8% compared to the year-ago period at INR9.31 billion.
In terms of subscribers, Idea claimed a total of 162.1 million users, 21.3 million of which were 3G voice and data subscribers, whilst data subscribers – both 2G and 3G – totalled 37.16 million. Blended monthly ARPU was INR182, compared to INR181 a year earlier, and INR179 in the previous quarter. Data ARPU actually fell during the period under review after a year of steady increases, falling to INR147 from INR150 the previous quarter, but up from INR108 in the three months to end-June 2014.