Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Bharti passed the 100 million subscriber, net profit up 22 percent in first quarter

Posted on: July 24, 2009

Beating forecasts by analysts, telecom major Bharti Airtel posted a 22.2 percent increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2009-10 at Rs.2,647.95 crore (Rs.26.48 billion / $547 million).

The company’s total income during the period under review rose 22 percent to Rs.10,448.69 crore from Rs.8,567.8 crore in the same period a year ago, it said in a regulatory statement. The increase in profits was also because of a Rs.250 crore gain as pay-outs on its foreign currency loans fell due to rupee appreciation.

“This good performance validates our rural thrust and investments in the past three years,” said chairman and managing director of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal.

Bharti passed the 100 million subscriber milestone in its previous quarter, recording a highest-ever quarterly net addition of 8.55 million customers. Bharti now claims an overall customer base of 105.2 million as of end-June, a 47 percent year-on-year increase in its subscriber base. It has 102.4 million mobile subscribers, giving it a mobile market share of 24 percent.

Bharti did sound a note of caution regarding India’s challenging market due to stiff competition from existing players and new entrants. This has led to a drop in key parameters such as ARPU and minutes of usage, the company said. Meanwhile, the company said it is still in talks with South Africa’s MTN over a deal that could eventually lead to a merger. Both companies revived talks in May to create a leading global mobile group with more than 200 million subscribers and combined revenue of US$20 billion. The two are in exclusive talks till 31 July.

Source: SI& MBB

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