RCOM books USD190m Q1 net loss

14 Aug 2017

Indian wireless provider Reliance Communications (RCOM) has booked a net loss of INR12.21 billion (USD190 million) for the three months ended 30 June 2017, compared to a net profit of INR540 million in the year-ago period, as it strives to complete its strategic transformation amidst turmoil in the market caused by the new entrant in September last year. RCOM registered a 33.0% year-on-year fall in turnover to INR35.91 billion, most likely due to continuing ARPU and subscriber decline as a result of the ongoing tariff war in the segment. This could not be confirmed as the operator has not yet published operational data for the period under review, although the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) reporting shows that RCOM’s subscriber base fell to 81.34 million from 83.50 million in March 2017 and 98.71 million in June 2016. EBITDA for the period was INR5.43 billion, down from INR15.60 billion twelve months earlier.

On its strategic transformation, RCOM noted that the consolidation of Sistema Shyam TeleServices’ (SSTL’s) wireless operations into RCOM is expected to be completed by the end of August. The company’s merger with Aircel, meanwhile, is ‘progressing well and [is] on track’, though a completion date for the transaction was not provided. Elsewhere, the divestment of its tower infrastructure to Brookfield is in the final stages of approvals.