Mobile tower company Bharti Infratel on Wednesday posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 608 crore in the last quarter of 2018-19, almost flat on the year, as consolidation in the telecom sector resulting in reduced tenancies. The company had posted consolidated profit after tax of Rs 606 crore in the same period year ago. The year 2018-19 saw major consolidation in the Indian telecom industry with four operators ceasing to exist either on account of mergers or outright shut down of operations, Bharti Infratel Chairman Akhil Gupta said in a statement.
"Between Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, approximately 20% of opening co-locations were lost during the year translating to approximately 75,000 co-locations on an overall basis and approximately 40,000 co-locations on a consolidated basis, mainly due to the merger of Vodafone and Idea," he said.
Despite "unprecedented loss" of co-locations, the overall financial performance for the year and the quarter ended March 31, 2019, has only been marginally lower than last year, he said.
"We believe that with rapidly growing data demand, large network rollouts will be required, indicating strong potential for the company in coming years and we are already seeing some early signs of acceleration in network rollouts.
"We are fully prepared to exploit this potential and meet all requirements of our customers for speedy rollouts," Gupta said.
The consolidated revenue of Bharti Infratel came in at Rs 3,600 crore for January-March quarter, 2% lower than Rs 3,662 crore in the March 2018 quarter. For the year ended March 31, 2019, the company's PAT remained flat at Rs 2,494 crore on year-on-year basis.
However, there was a marginal growth in consolidated revenue for the 2018-19 at Rs 14,582 crore from Rs 14,490 crore in 2017-18. Gupta said the merger process of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers is on track and is expected to be completed in the next few months.
The company declared a second interim dividend of Rs 7.5 per equity share of Rs 10 each for the fiscal year 2019. Bharti Infratel shares closed at Rs 302.15 apiece, up 2.58%, at the BSE, reported PTI.