As expected, Idea Cellular has revealed its numbers for the Quarter ended on March 31, 2018. In the report, Idea Cellular stated that its subscriber base had reached 207.7 million as of March 31, 2018, and the average data per user has seen a meteoric growth to 7GB in Q4 FY18, compared to 1.4GB a year back. The company also revealed that voice usage per subscriber has risen sharply to 577 minutes in Q4 FY18 from 412 minutes in Q4 FY17. Overall, the broadband data volume of 1,984 billion MB has been reported by the telco, which is an increase by nearly six times (FY18 vs FY17). The company’s wireless broadband subscriber (EoP) base now stands at 39.8 million out of total 46.8 million mobile data users. Similarly, Idea witnessed a strong return of subscriber addition with 12.2 million ‘Net customer adds’ on VLR in H2 FY18. Idea’ subscriber market share has been increased to 20.9% in February 2018 as compared to February 2017.
The third largest Indian telecom operator also noted that the financial performance also remained under pressure in FY18. The company states that the dual negative factors of a steep reduction in domestic and international MTC settlement rate and unrelenting rate pressure on voice and mobile data services as high ARPU consumers migrated to lower-priced ‘unlimited voice bundled data plans,’ which resulted in a 20.5% decline in gross revenue in FY18 to Rs 28278.9 crore (vs FY17 revenue of Rs 35575.7 crore).
In the last quarter of FY18, Idea Cellular reported a loss of Rs 930.6 crore, which is down from the Rs 1285.6 crore it had in Q3 FY18. Idea’s net loss for the entire year widened to Rs 4139.9 crore from Rs 404 crore. The EBITDA for the last quarter stood at Rs 1447.3 crore, up from the Rs 1,223.3 crore.
Idea Cellular also confirmed that the merger of Idea and Vodafone India is in the final leg of regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in H1 CY18. The proposed new leadership team of merged entity has already been announced on March 22, 2018. Both the companies, have set up respective project management teams, preparing for the merger and initiated detailed planning for identified capex and opex synergies. It also revealed that both the companies now, under ‘Active infrastructure sharing’ programme and ‘2G & 4G ICR arrangements’ across various service areas, share around 49,000 sites.
The Net Debt as on March 31, 2018, stood at Rs 523.3 billion, which also includes a large component of debt from DoT under ‘Deferred Payment Obligation’ for spectrum acquired in auctions.