Jio reports profit growth, plans tower and fibre spin-off

18 Jan 2019

Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) recorded gross revenues of INR122.5 billion (USD1.72 billion) in the three months to 31 December 2018, an increase of 51% year-on-year and 12% quarter-on-quarter, fuelled by consistently strong subscriber additions. The cellco reported EBITDA of INR40.5 billion for the quarter, an increase of 54% y-o-y and 13% q-o-q, whilst net profit grew to INR8.3 billion from INR6.8 billion in September 2018 and INR5.0 billion in December 2017. Jio counted a total of 280.1 million users at the end of December 2018 compared to 160.1 million a year earlier, and 252.3 million in September 2018, with the cellco attributing the subscriber growth to its network performance, tariff structure and sales channels. Regarding its network, the cellco said it was on track to achieve 99% population coverage with its LTE network within the next ‘few months’ and claimed that it was the only provider to deploy tri-band 4G (using spectrum in the 850MHz, 1800MHz and 2300MHz bands) across all of its sites.

Jio also confirmed that it was planning to spin off its tower and fibre infrastructure to separate companies to be monetised. V Srikanth, the CFO of Jio parent Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), was quoted by the Economic Times as saying of the plan: ‘We’re in the process of demerging our tower and fibre business and the end objective will be to have different set of investors who would want to run these companies. This means that these assets go off our balance sheets, so the liabilities also go down. Tower and asset monetisation is a large part of overall asset monetisation plan for the company.’

Elsewhere, the company reported progress towards its planned entry into the fixed broadband market, claiming that its Jio GigaFiber service had witnessed ‘overwhelming customer interest across 1,400 cities’. Trial services are currently being rolled out to a handful of cities to optimise service offerings, the operator added.

India, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)