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.