The Sunil Bharti Mittal led telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, in its BSE filings today has revealed some of the critical parameters and the financial metrics of the company for the quarter ending in September 2019. Some of the agendas in the board meeting of Bharti Airtel which were to be taken up in the recent, have been deferred. Bharti in its filing has said, “The Board of Directors, in its meeting held today, has accepted the management's recommendation and deferred the agenda item relating to the approval of the said financial results till Thursday, November 14, 2019.” In its quarterly earnings report, we get to see some crucial results which point out to us the financial health of the company. One of the most notable parameters in this quarterly report is of the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) which has taken a hit again for Bharti Airtel. After witnessing an increase in ARPU helped by the minimum recharge plans, Bharti Airtel’s ARPU has again taken a slump.
Bharti Airtel ARPU Starts to Decline Again
The first thing to note in the Bharti Airtel quarterly report is the subscriber base of the company which has gone up quarter-on-quarter by 0.9%, but has a total negative YoY fall of 15% over the previous numbers. This is a piece of good news for the Sunil Bharti Mittal led telecom operator, as one of the major issues which the company was facing was of the churn of subscribers porting to other networks in the latter half of the last FY. Speaking of which, the monthly churn of Bharti Airtel has also come down to 2.1% from the previous churn rate of 2.6%. Coming to the most important parameter of all, ARPU, this is where Bharti Airtel has taken a hit, as the telecom operator has now registered an ARPU of Rs 129 meaning that although the telecom operator has added a few subscribers to its base, they are mostly low paying subscribers. In the previous quarter, Bharti Airtel had reported an ARPU of Rs 129 which denotes a fall of 1%.
Airtel Digital TV ARPU Also Slumps
Bharti Airtel has reported the figures for home services and Digital TV services as well. In the home services segment, Bharti Airtel has noted that its ARPU stood at Rs 777 instead of the previous ARPU of Rs 825, which shows a decline of 5.8%. In contrast, for Airtel Digital TV services, the ARPU of the company is up from the previous Rs 157 at the end of the June quarter, to Rs 162 in the quarter ending in September 2019.
Bharti Infratel Sets Up 414 New Towers in Previous Quarter
Highlighting the figures about network and coverage, Bharti Airtel has noted that it has achieved the 95.3% population coverage, which remains the same from the previous quarter ending in June 2019. Under Bharti Infratel, which is the tower company of Bharti Airtel, the company has reached the total figure of 41,050 towers. To recall, in the previous quarter, Bharti Airtel had a total of 40,636 towers under its name, meaning that in this quarter, the telecom operator has set up 414 new towers.
Lastly, coming to the section of gross revenue, Bharti Airtel has reported a year on year increase in gross revenue of 7% in the mobile services segment. In the home services segment, it has witnessed a decline of 2% in the gross revenue, whereas, for the Digital Services, the YoY decline is more severe at 23%.
What Does the ARPU Dip Mean?
In all of the financial report of Bharti Airtel, the most notable thing is the decline of the ARPU. Since the last calendar year, Bharti Airtel is being helped with the launch of the minimum recharge plans which have helped the telco in raising its ARPU, but the new quarterly report points out that the party is over for the telecom operator and the ARPU is starting to come down, even as the telco adds subscribers.