Indian mobile provider Idea Cellular has booked a 7.9% increase in total revenue for its first quarter, ended 30 June 2016, on the back of strong subscriber growth, particularly in the data segment. Idea booked turnover of INR94.87 billion (USD1.42 billion) for the three-month period, whilst EBITDA grew 3.2% year-on-year to INR30.74 billion with a margin of 32.4%. A 35.9% annual increase in depreciation and amortisation costs, combined with a 184.7% jump in interest and financing costs to INR9.22 billion drove net profit down by 74.5% y-o-y to INR2.17 billion.
During the period under review, Idea notes that it pursued a volume growth strategy in the data segment, resulting in net additions of 2.291 million new 3G users – compared to 1.71 million in the preceding quarter – and 1.12 million 4G subscriptions, bringing the respective customer totals to 25.200 million and 1.800 million. Data usage also grew to 889MB per user per month compared to 857MB in the previous quarter, although price reductions led to a decrease in ARPU for data customers of 8.9% quarter-on-quarter and 14.3% y-o-y to INR174. Overall, Idea counted a total of 176.2 million mobile customers, compared to 175.1 million three months earlier.
The cellco also continued its 4G network expansion, installing 5,296 new sites during the quarter to reach a total of 19,939 4G sites, covering 150 million Indians across 2,000 towns and cities and 5,000 villages in ten service areas.