Airtel's Africa ops net loss widens to Rs 485 cr

The company had reported net loss of Rs 340.6 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Updated: May 02, 2013, 23:36 PM IST

New Delhi: Telecom giant Bharti Airtel Thursday said the net loss from African operations has widened to Rs 485.7 crore in the January-March quarter led by slowdown in economic activity and political instability.

The company had reported net loss of Rs 340.6 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

The total income of the company for Africa, however, rose 12.57 percent to Rs 6,064.7 crore for the quarter as compared to Rs 5,387.4 crore in the same period last year.

As a result of lower growth in the African market, the company is likely to take more time to achieve its earlier stated target of achieving USD 5 billion in revenues.

The company had said that it expected to touch USD 5 billion in revenues by May, 2013.

"The market has seen a lower growth than we expected and that's why those targets could not be achieved but we are determined and we will achieve them but I really can't share the timeframe now," Bharti Airtel CEO (International) and Joint MD Manoj Kohli told reporters here.

The company said Q4 was seasonally weak with significant slowdown in economic activity in many parts of Africa and political instability and unrest in some regions further affected businesses across all sectors.

"The price table having come down in the first three quarters, the combined effect of all the adverse factors was reflected in the quarter's operational metrics and performance," the company said.

Bharti Airtel, which provides services in 17 African countries, added 2 million customers during the quarter to take its user base to 63.7 million as on March 31, 2013.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) for Africa stands at USD 5.9 per month.

The company launched its 3G services in 12 countries with the roll out of 5,676 3G sites in African region.

Airtel, which plans to invest USD 2.2-2.3 billion in FY 14, will invest around USD 600 million in Africa.

India's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel Thursday reported 13th consecutive quarter of fall in profits with about 50 percent slump in consolidated earnings during January-March, but it said that the worst may be over as pricing stability was returning to the sector.

Net profit in the fourth quarter of 2012-13 fiscal dropped to Rs 508.6 crore, from Rs 1,005.9 crore a year ago on higher tax outgo and depreciation cost.

During the quarter under review, Bharti Airtel incurred a capital expenditure of Rs 1,269.2 crore on its African operations.