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Bharti Airtel Posts Mega Loss of Rs 23,045 Cr in Jul-Sep Quarter

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel, which has been hit hard by the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues, on Thursday posted highest ever loss of Rs 23,045 crore during the second quarter ended 30 September.

The company has recorded net income of Rs 119 crore in the same quarter a year ago, although it said that amount are not comparable due to adoption of new accounting system.

The consolidated revenue of Bharti Airtel was up by 4.7 percent at Rs 21,199 crore in the just concluded quarter.

The company said that the apex court ruling has "significant financial implication on the company" .

"The Company is hopeful of relief and in the absence of the same, has provided for an additional amount aggregating Rs 28,450 crore as a charge for the quarter with respect to the license fee as estimated based on the court judgement and spectrum usage charges (SUC) as estimated based on the definition of AGR," the company said in a statement.

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The amount comprises principal of Rs 6,164 crore, interest of Rs 12,219 crore, penalty of Rs 3,760 crore, and interest on penalty of Rs 6,307 crore, it added.

"These provisions have been made without prejudice to the company's right to contest DoT's demands on facts as well as on rights available in law. Thus the liabilities/ provisions as at September 30, 2019 aggregate Rs 34,260 crore comprising of principal of Rs 8,747 crore, interest of Rs 15,446 crore, penalty of Rs 3,760 crore and interest on penalty of Rs 6,307 crore," the statement said.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea to Take Maximum Hits

The Supreme Court, last month, upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual AGR of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer. Old telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will take the maximum hit on the payment of statutory dues to the government.

Bharti Airtel said that while the net loss after exceptional item was at Rs 23,045 crore, before exceptional item the net loss stood at Rs 1,123 crore.

The company's India revenues increased by 3 percent on year-on-year basis to Rs 15,361 crore.

Bharti Airtel shares closed at Rs 362.65, down by 1.59 percent compared to previous close on the BSE.

The results were announced after market hours.

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