Bharti Airtel Q4 Results: Profit Falls 11% Missing Estimates
Signage for Bharti Airtel is displayed atop one of the company’s stores in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel Q4 Results: Profit Falls 11% Missing Estimates

Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s fourth-quarter profit fell missing estimates and its average revenue per user dropped despite adding regularly paying customers.

Net profit of the Sunil Mittal-led telecom operator declined 11% over the preceding three months to Rs 759.2 crore, according to an exchange filing. That compares with the Rs 958.8-crore consensus estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

The carrier had posted a profit in the three months to December after six quarters, helped by a one-time gain stemming from the merger of its tower arm and Indus Towers Ltd. Adjusted for this exceptional item, it would have been another loss.

Other Highlights (quarter-on-quarter)

  • Revenue fell 2.9% to Rs 25,747 crore, compared with the estimated Rs 26,165 crore.

  • Other income rose 70.5% to Rs 83.9 crore.

  • Operating profit rose 2.3% to Rs 12,332 crore.

  • Margin expanded to 47.9% from 45.5%.

  • Average revenue per user—the amount an operator earns per subscriber per month—fell to Rs 145 from Rs 166.

Bharti Airtel has been adding active subscribers since August 2020. It added a total of 1.06 crore active users in January and February 2021 compared with loss of subscribers by rivals Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. March user data has yet to be released by the telecom regulator.

And Bharti Airtel has acquired 355MHz of spectrum for Rs 18,699 crore in the recent spectrum auctions, that will improve its coverage. It also announced a new corporate structure in April to focus on digital, India, international and infrastructure businesses distinctly.

Africa Unit Performance

Airtel Africa reported revenue and profit worth $1,038 million and $154 million, respectively, in the quarter ended March. That’s a 0.4% sequential jump in revenue and 32.8% rise in profit.

The performance was aided by growth across regions (Nigeria, East Africa, and Francophone Africa) and its services (voice, data, and mobile money).

Shares of Bharti Airtel closed 2.25% lower before the results were announced, compared with a 1.67% gain in the benchmark Nifty 50.

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