Lockdown, WFH Effect: Bharti Airtel Posts Highest-Ever Quarterly Revenue

Bharti Airtel said its average revenue per user (ARPU) - a measure of profitability - improved to Rs 162 in the three-month period ended September 30.

Lockdown, WFH Effect: Bharti Airtel Posts Highest-Ever Quarterly Revenue

Bharti Airtel said its revenue jumped 22.02% to its highest ever in a quarter

Billionaire Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel on Tuesday reported a revenue of Rs 25,785 crore in the July-September period - its highest ever in a quarter, boosted by higher tariffs and a rise in data usage from a coronavirus-fuelled shift to remote working. The jump in revenue for Bharti Airtel comes at a time when the country's telecom sector is grappling with low tariffs due to a price war that ensued after billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio entered the space.

Here are 10 things to know:

  1. In a regulatory filing after market hours, the private sector company said its net loss narrowed to Rs 763.2 crore in the second quarter of current financial year, compared to Rs 23,044.9 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

  2. Its revenue jumped 22.02 per cent in the September quarter, compared to Rs 21,131.30 crore in the year-ago period. 

  3. Bharti Airtel said its ARPU or average revenue per user - a measure of profitability - improved to Rs 162 per month in the July-September period, from Rs 157 in the previous quarter and Rs 128 in the three-month period ended September 30, 2019.

  4. "Despite being a seasonally weak quarter, we delivered a strong performance... Our data consumption grew by 58 per cent year-on-year, which reflects strong engagement of customers on our network," said Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

  5. Bharti Airtel said it sees sees a gradual return to normalcy, with the series of unlocks throughout the country. Its domestic business delivered strong growth in terms of revenue, margins as well as customers.

  6. Its India revenue rose 22 per cent to Rs 18,747 crore, led by "strong 4G customer momentum and up-trading", the New Delhi-based company said.

  7. The telecom operator's 4G data customers rose by 1.44 crore to 15.27 crore in the quarter ended September 30. Airtel said its digital services are now among the strongest in the country, with 16 crore digitally-engaged users, as it continues to enable customers and businesses to remain connected during the coronavirus crisis.

  8. Shares in Bharti Airtel ended 0.24 per cent lower at Rs 433 apiece on the BSE ahead of the earnings announcement by the company, underperforming the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index which rose 0.94 per cent. 

  9. The country's highly-indebted telecom sector is characterised with intense competition with the aggressively priced high-speed data packs and free voice calls from rival Reliance Jio Infocomm.   

  10. Last year, telecom operators hiked tariffs as they were ordered to pay dues of Rs 92,000 crore to the government's Department of Telecommunications.