Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel has recorded consolidated revenues of INR257.9 billion (USD3.5 billion) for the three months to end-September 2020, an increase of 22.0% year-on-year. The company attributed to the growth to improvements across several metrics in its domestic market, most notably the mobile segment which saw a 26.0% increase in turnover, due to Airtel’s ‘unrelenting focus on winning with quality customers on the back of a solid network, aspirational brand and delivery of differentiated experience’. EBITDA for the period grew to INR118.5 billion from INR89.4 billion a year earlier, whilst net loss before exceptional improvements narrowed to INR7.4 billion from INR11.2 billion. Airtel’s net loss for the period was INR7.6 billion compared to INR230.4 billion in 2019, although the year-ago period had been negatively impact by the Supreme Court’s decision on Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
Airtel’s Indian division counted a total of 293.7 million mobile customers at 30 September 2020, an increase of 5.1% y-o-y. Mobile ARPU increased by 26.7% over the same period to INR162 and the number of data users grew by 30.5% to 162.2 million, 152.7 million of which were 4G customers (103.1 million in September 2019). Its home broadband user base grew by 9.7% to 2.6 million, meanwhile, with ARPU edging up by less than 1% to INR783.
Meanwhile, Airtel’s majority-owned subsidiary Airtel Africa, which comprises mobile providers across 14 nations on the continent, booked turnover of USD965 million for the period, up from USD844 million in the previous year. Underlying EBITDA was USD437 million, compared to USD372 million in the same period of 2019, whilst operating profit stood at USD262 million – up from USD210 million. Net profit for the quarter was down to USD88 million from USD96 million, however, as a result of a 53.4% increase in tax charges for the period. In terms of its customer base, Airtel Africa counted a total of 116.4 million subscribers at end-September 2020, of which 39.6 million were data users, compared to 103.9 million and 31.9 million respectively in September 2019.