New Delhi: India's largest telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Ltd's fiscal fourth quarter (Jan-Mar) consolidated net profit halved to Rs 5.09 billion from Rs 10.06 billion in the year-ago period, due to higher net interest costs and a tax charge, it said Thursday.
Shares of the company fell as much as 4.9% in early morning trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) after the results were announced.
The revenue of the company in the three months to Mar 31, 2013 rose 9.2% to Rs 204.48 billion, as against Rs 187.29 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2011-12 , Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
"The consolidated Net Income... was mainly impacted by higher depreciation & amortization cost (515crore), net interest costs (Rs 132 crore), dividend (distribution tax (Rs 37crore) and higher deferred tax charge due to hike in surcharge (Rs 96 crore) ," the statement said.
However, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "...market corrections have started with improvements in the quality of customer acquisitions, and that pricing stability is returning to the sector in India ."
The company's consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin for the Jan quarter fell to 31.7% against 33.3% during the same period a year ago.
In the Jan-Mar quarter, the company's Africa operations posted a net loss of $48 million on revenues of $1.12 billion. In 2010, the Indian telecom giant had acquired Kuwait-based Zain's African assets for around $10.7 billion (nearly Rs 480 billion).
Bharti Airtel's total subscriber base was at 271.2 million at the end of Mar 31, 2013. The company's mobile services customer base in India alone was 188.22 million as on Mar 31, 2013.
During the quarter, the average revenue per user (ARPU) of the company for India grew 4% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 193.
Bharti Airtel carried 293.7 billion minutes of traffic on its network during the quarter, 11% more than it carried in the same quarter previous year. The minutes of use on mobile services for India and South Asia alone were at 263.04 billion in the quarter.
In India and South Asia, the company's mobile customers grew 3.5% to 196.12 million as on Mar 31, 2013 from 189.42 million as on Dec 31, 2012.
Total net debt of the telecommunication major was at Rs 638.39 billion as on Mar 31, 2013.
Bharti Airtel's shares closed at Rs 316.7, down 0.64% on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.