Vodafone Idea has managed to reduce its losses in the quarter ended March, despite facing muted growth in revenue. Vodafone Idea announced its fourth-quarter results on Thursday, revealing a narrowed consolidated net loss of Rs 6,419 crore, compared to Rs 6,563 crore in the same period last year and Rs 7,988 crore in the previous quarter.
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While revenue from operations saw a modest increase of nearly 3% year-on-year, reaching Rs 10,532 crore, the loss for the full fiscal year FY23 widened to Rs 29,301 crore from Rs 28,245 crore in the previous year. Revenue from operations for the fiscal year showed a growth of nearly 10%, amounting to Rs 42,177 crore.
Increase in 4G subscribers
Vodafone Idea also noted an increase in its 4G subscriber base, which reached 122.6 million during the March quarter, up from 121.6 million in the previous quarter. Furthermore, the company reported a marginal improvement in its operating profit, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rising to Rs 4,210 crore from Rs 4,181 crore in the previous quarter. The operating margin also saw a slight increase, standing at 40% compared to 39.4% in the previous quarter.
Vodafone Idea attributed its continued network capacity expansion to spectrum refarming and network upgrades. The company has also reduced its interest costs, which decreased to Rs 4,908 crore from Rs 6,285 crore in the previous quarter.
Commenting on the results, Akshaya Moondra, CEO of Vodafone Idea, expressed satisfaction with the annual revenue growth achieved for the first time post-merger, emphasizing the company's improving performance over the past several quarters. Moondra further stated that Vodafone Idea remains engaged with lenders for additional debt fund raising and is exploring options for equity or equity-linked fund raising to support network expansion, including the rollout of 5G technology.
Vodafone Idea ARPU
The average revenue per user (ARPU) also showed improvement, increasing to Rs 135 from Rs 124 in the previous year, primarily due to subscribers migrating to higher ARPU plans, according to the company.
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Overall Subscriber Base
However, the overall subscriber base declined to 225.9 million in the last quarter from 228.6 million in the December quarter. Vodafone Idea's capital expenditure for the quarter amounted to Rs 5.6 billion, bringing the total capex spend for FY23 to Rs 33.6 billion.
The company's total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, stood at Rs 2.09 lakh crore as of March 31, compared to Rs 2.23 lakh crore as of December 31. This reduction was attributed to the conversion of debt, representing the net present value of interest arising from the deferment of spectrum instalments and Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues into equity issued to the government.
The total debt includes deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1.3 lakh crore, AGR liability of Rs 655.5 billion to the government, debt from lenders amounting to Rs 114 billion, and optionally convertible debentures of Rs 16.1 billion. With cash and cash equivalents of Rs 2.3 billion, Vodafone Idea's net debt stood at Rs 2.09 lakh crore.