Vodafone Idea on Wednesday reported a consolidated loss of Rs 4,973 crore for the September quarter in its maiden financial results post-merger. The merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular was completed on August 31, 2018. The numbers for the reported quarter include results for Idea Cellular up to August 30, 2018, and for Vodafone Idea from August 31 to September 30 and hence these are not comparable to the earlier period, Vodafone Idea said in a statement. During the quarter, ARPU of the firm declined to Rs 88, down 4.7% QoQ.
The company continued to face the impact of tariff war, with customers moving to low-cost plans. “Headline tariffs remained stable during the quarter. However, customer migration to lower ARPU (average revenue per user) offerings led to a 4.7% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) decline in ARPU to Rs 88 for the quarter,” the statement said.
The country’s largest telecom operator with a subscriber base of 42.2 crore reported consolidated revenue of Rs 7,663 crore for July-September 2018. Vodafone Idea said that post-merger, the synergy between assets and operations are progressing well.
“Committee of Board members to evaluate a potential capital raise of up to Rs 250 billion, promoter shareholders have indicated to the Board that they would contribute up to Rs 182.5 billion,” Vodafone Idea said.
Vodafone Group has indicated to the board that they would contribute up to Rs 11,000 crore and Aditya Birla Group up to Rs 7,250 crore, respectively. The company is also actively exploring the sale of its fibre network.
“Several parties have indicated a potential interest in acquiring the company’s fibre network, consisting of over 156,000 kilometres of intra- and inter-city fibre routes. The Company has decided to actively explore a potential sale of these assets in order to provide further balance sheet flexibility,” the statement said.
The merged entity’s gross debt as at September 30, 2018, stood at Rs 1,26,100 crore. “The cash and equivalents were Rs 136 billion, resulting in a net debt of Rs 1,125 billion,” the statement said.