Airtel narrows annual net loss to INR151 billion

18 May 2021

Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel has published its financial results for the quarter and year to 31 March 2021, booking revenue of INR1.01 trillion (USD13.7 billion) for the twelve-month period (up from INR846.77 billion in the previous year) and INR257.47 billion for its fourth quarter, compared to INR230.19 billion a year earlier. Annual EBITDA grew to INR461.39 billion from INR347.70 billion, whilst net loss narrowed from INR321.83 billion in the 2019/20 financial year to INR150.84 billion. For the quarter, meanwhile, EBITDA grew by 28.9% year-on-year to INR125.83 billion whilst net earnings reached INR7.59 billion compared to a loss of INR52.37 billion in the three months to end-March 2020. The group claimed a total customer base of 471.362 million as at end-March 2021, compared to 457.995 million three months earlier and 423.287 million in March 2020. Of the most recent figure, its Indian operations accounted for 350.304 million users (up 4.2% quarter-on-quarter and 13.1% y-o-y), whilst its African markets represented 118.192 million (down 0.6% q-o-q but an increase of 6.9% y-o-y) and its South Asian unit 2.866 million (down by 0.1% q-o-q and 2.2% y-o-y).

Airtel’s domestic mobile operations saw a 4.4% q-o-q increase in total subscribers to 321.36 million, including 179.293 million 4G customers (+8.9% q-o-q). ARPU for the period dropped sharply, however, with Airtel attributing the decline to the elimination of mobile termination rates (MTRs) in India from INR0.06 with effect from 1 January 2021. ARPU was INR145 for the period under review, compared to INR166 in the three months to end-December 2020 and INR154 in the year-ago period. Adjusting for the decrease in MTR, Airtel notes that ARPU was broadly flat q-o-q, dipping from INR146 in the preceding quarter, and was up 7.3% y-o-y, from INR135.

India, Bharti Airtel