India’s Bharti Airtel has reported a 4.3% increase in consolidated revenue for its second quarter, ended 30 September 2015. Turnover for the period grew to INR238.36 billion (USD3.67 billion), fuelled by expansion in the mobile data space, which saw a 49.8% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenue to INR38.06 billion, driven by traffic growth of 76.3%. EBITDA for the period was INR82.65 billion (+6.7%) with an EBITDA margin of 34.7% (33.9% at end-September 2014), whilst net profit for the period – excluding exceptional items – was down 23.1% y-o-y at INR23.04 billion. The group reported strong subscriber growth across the board, adding 8.139 million net new users in the three months under review, increasing its total subscriber base to 325.899 million at end-September 2015.
Currency depreciation across many of Airtel’s African units led to a decrease in reported revenues of 9.0% (to INR62.72 billion) for the region, despite a growing subscriber base and stable ARPU on the continent. Airtel’s CEO for Africa, Christian de Faria commented: ‘Airtel Africa performance has improved, with underlying revenue growth of 5.1% in Q2, the highest in the last four quarters. Data revenue has grown by 40.6%. Strong demand is being witnessed both in voice and data, with our consumption increasing by 19.5% and 104.5% respectively.’
In India, meanwhile, Airtel reported a total of 23.895 million 3G customers, of a total 51.013 million data users, compared to 15.445 million and 40.108 million respectively in September 2014. Mobile data ARPU reached INR193 per month during the period under review, from INR150 a year earlier, with average data use climbing to 765MB from 563MB. Commenting on developments in India, regional CEO Gopal Vittal noted: ‘Airtel’s revenue growth in India has accelerated to 13.3% in Q2 on an underlying basis, the highest in the last twelve quarters. With the commercial launch of high speed 4G services across 334 towns and roll out of 3G services in our gap circles, we are now best positioned in the industry to leverage the fast growing data market.’