Airtel registers 14% fall in revenue amidst price disruption in India

26 Jul 2017

Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel has booked a 14.0% year-on-year drop in total revenue for the three months ended 30 June 2017, registering turnover of INR219.6 billion for the period (USD3.4 billion), compared to INR255.5 billion a year earlier. The decline was attributed largely to the disruptive pricing strategy of the new operator in Airtel’s domestic market in September 2016, which has seen Airtel’s turnover from wireless services in India fall to INR129.1 billion from INR150.4 billion in the year-ago period. EBITDA for the quarter was INR78.2 billion, down from INR95.91 billion, whilst net profit fell 74.9% y-o-y to INR3.7 billion from INR14.6 billion. Airtel appears to be stabilising, however, with total revenue flat on a quarter-on-quarter basis, following three consecutive quarters of declines. Nevertheless, EBITDA and net profit continued to edge down slightly, dipping by 2.1% and 1.6% q-o-q respectively. Whilst Airtel’s Indian mobile division booked a y-o-y decline in revenue, the group’s other segments have fared better, with its Indian broadband and TV divisions registering y-o-y growth of 1% and 7% respectively. Similarly, on a like-for-like basis, Airtel’s African mobile operations booked a slight increase in revenue, from USD732 million to USD736 million.

In operational terms, Airtel reported a total of 379.87 million subscribers at the end of June 2017, including 362.68 million wireless customers, 2.14 million broadband users, 13.31 million pay-TV subscribers and 1.74 million business clients. Its Indian mobile user base grew by 9.7% y-o-y to 280.65 million, though ARPU fell by 21.1% to INR154 over the same period. Its mobile broadband customer base (i.e. 3G/4G users) continued to expand despite the pressure from the launch of new rival Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), reaching 48.91 million at 30 June 2017, compared to 36.57 million in June 2016. In Africa, meanwhile, Airtel counted 80.04 million wireless users at mid-2017, up from 75.77 million a year earlier, but down slightly from 80.06 million in March 2017.

India, Bharti Airtel