Airtel Digital TV Adds Nearly 4 Lakh Subscribers in Q4 FY19, Also Registers Increased ARPU

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Airtel Digital TV, Bharti Airtel’s DTH wing, has managed to add 391,000 subscribers in the last quarter of FY19 ending in March. The DTH operator registered 45.7% QoQ and 69.7% YoY growth with this subscriber addition. It is worth noting that the additions for the fourth quarter of FY19 were significant for the DTH provider as in the preceding quarters they were much lower. In the third quarter, Airtel Digital TV gained 222,000 subscribers whereas in the second quarter the DTH provider had added 230,0000 subscribers. On the same lines, the average revenue per user (ARPU) was up by 0.6% QoQ to Rs 233, and the YoY growth for the metric was 2.2%. The fourth quarter also had reasonable control over monthly churn, which was 0.8% in the said period as opposed to 1.3% in Q3 of FY19 and 1.1% in Q4 FY18.

Increase in EBITDA, EBIT and Revenue for Airtel Digital TV

With this new addition of subscribers, the total subscriber base of Airtel Digital TV now stands at 15.39 million which is 2.6% higher, and when compared to the subscriber base in Q4 FY18, the number is up by 8.6%. As for earnings, the EBITDA was registered to be Rs 392.6 crore as compared to Rs 382.6 crore in Q3 and Rs 370.1 crore in the same period last year. The EBITDA margin, as reported in the financial report, was 37.4% in the current quarter, as compared to 37% in Q3 and 38.6% in the corresponding quarter last year. Similarly, EBIT for the same period was Rs 185.3 crore in contrast to Rs 156.8 crore and Rs 153.8 crore in the corresponding quarter previous year.

Company Reduces Capital Expenditure

The DTH service provider also witnessed an increase in revenue from Digital TV services and this increase was Rs 92.1 crore. The current revenue for the company was pegged at Rs 1050.6 crore as compared to Rs 1033 crore in Q3 and Rs 958.5 crore in Q4 FY18. The capital expenditure recorded for the company was also lower in this quarter. While in the third quarter, the company had a capital expenditure of 326.8 crores, this quarter’s capital expenditure remained limited to Rs 191.7 crore. In the corresponding quarter last year, the expenditure was Rs 206.4 crore.

Another important figure, the resultant operating free cash flow, during the quarter was at Rs 200.9 crore whereas it was Rs 55.8 crore in Q3 and Rs 163.7 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. For the entire fiscal year, the company EBITDA climbed up by 11% to Rs 1572.2 crore compared to Rs 1422.6 crore in the previous fiscal. The EBITDA margin for the entire year was at 38.3% compared to 37.9%. EBIT increased by 40% to Rs 741 crore from Rs 530.6 crore, whereas revenue grew by 9% to Rs 4100 crore from Rs 3757 crore.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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