Bharti Airtel today announced its consolidated results for the quarter that ended on December 31, 2019. Overall, it’s a good quarter for the telco in terms of subscriber numbers and APRU, however, on the revenue side of things, the company is still struggling. In Q3 FY20, Bharti Airtel subscriber base reached 308 million, up by 1.3% QoQ and 1.8% YoY. Across 16 countries, Airtel’ subscriber base is 419 million. In India, the Average Revenue per User (ARPU) has seen a major boost to Rs 135 from Rs 128 a quarter ago. The telco also says it added the highest number of 4G subscribers around 21 million during the quarter, thanks to the closure of 3G services in various leadership circles. On the revenue side of things, Bharti Airtel posted Rs 1,035 crore net loss along with a consolidated EBITDA of Rs 9,350 crore.
Airtel 4G Subscriber Base Rises to 123.8 Million
Bharti Airtel has been struggling in the Indian telecom industry for a while now. However, the company is showing some positive signs over the last few quarters. After facing a major slump in the subscriber base, the company has managed to increase it over 300 million in Q3 FY20. At the end of December 31, 2019, Airtel subscriber base has reached 308 million. The major highlight is the company’s 4G user base which is up by 60.6% to 123.8 million compared to 77.1 million we saw in Q3 FY19. In just Q3 FY20, Airtel managed to add nearly 21 million 4G users.
As for the ARPU, it has been increased to Rs 135 from Rs 128 which it reported in Q2 FY20. “We added ~21 Mn 4G customers to our mobile network and delivered superior value to our customers through the Airtel Thanks program. Data traffic saw strong growth of ~72% Y-o-Y. We are on track to shut down our 3G networks across India and re-farm the 900 and 2100 band spectrum to further boost our 4G footprint to serve the surging demand for high-speed data,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.
In December 2019, Bharti Airtel also increased the prices of its mobile tariff prices by nearly 40%. But Gopal Vittal believes that the tariffs should go even up for stability in the sector. “While tariff revision undertaken in December 2019 is a welcome step towards repairing the financial health of the industry, we believe tariffs must go up further for enabling the industry to invest in emerging technologies” added Gopal Vittal.
As for customer usage, mobile data usage has increased to 5,166 PBs in the quarter as compared to 2,996 PBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Airtel is offering up to 3GB daily data plans to the prepaid users right now.
Airtel India Revenues Increased by 9.7% YoY
Moving onto the revenue side of things, Bharti Airtel India revenues for Q3 FY20 stood at Rs 15,797 crore which is an increase by 9.7% YoY on an underlying basis. Mobile revenues have witnessed a YoY growth of 9.6% led by a strong focus on quality customers, up-trading and in some part benefitted by the recent tariff actions, although the full impact of the tariff actions is yet to be seen, the company said in a press statement.
Net losses for Q3 FY20 stood at Rs 1,080 crore, while India EBITDA margin was at 41.2%, an increase of 13.3% YoY.