Debt-laden Indian cellco Vodafone Idea (Vi) has reported gross revenue of INR91.52 billion (USD1.2 billion) for the three months to end-June 2021 – the first quarter of its fiscal year 2022 – down from INR106.59 billion in the same period of the previous year. EBITDA for the period dipped to INR37.08 billion from INR40.98 billion a year earlier and INR44.09 billion in the preceding quarter, with Vi attributing the decline primarily to changes in accounting practices. Vi recorded a net loss of INR73.13 billion for the period, compared to INR69.85 billion in the period to end-March 2021, and INR254.67 billion in the year-ago period. Vi also noted that its total gross debt as at 30 June 2021 INR1.92 trillion, including deferred spectrum obligations of INR1.06 trillion and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) liability of INR621.8 billion.
In operational terms, the cellco’s total mobile subscriber base fell to 255.4 million from 267.8 million in the preceding quarter and 279.8 million at end-June 2020. Its 4G subscriber base, meanwhile, remained more stable, standing at 112.9 million at the end of June 2021, compared to 113.9 million in March 2021 and 104.6 million in June 2020. Despite this, though, ARPU fell to INR104 from INR107 and INR114 over the same period.
Regarding the results, CEO Ravinder Takkar was quoted as saying: ‘The severe second wave of COVID caused significant disruptions and slowdown in economic activities. During these challenging times, VIL continued to serve its customers and community at large by providing seamless connectivity as well as maintaining superior quality of services. Vi GIGAnet’s superior network experience on both data and voice, is testified through top rankings in independent external reports. We continue to focus on executing our strategy to keep our customers ahead, and our cost optimization plan remains on track to deliver the targeted savings. We are in active discussion with potential investors for fund raising, to achieve our strategic intent.’