SSTL's Oct-Dec net loss narrows to Rs 779 crore

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 1,197.7 crore during the same quarter a year ago.

Last Updated: Apr 09, 2013, 15:06 PM IST

New Delhi: Indian telecom arm of Russian conglomerate Sistema, SSTL, on Tuesday reported reduction in net loss at Rs 778.7 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, when the company was facing uncertainty over its operations in the country.

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 1,197.7 crore during the same quarter a year ago.

"The net income benefitted due to improvement in OIBDA but the impact was completely offset by the unfavorable movement in exchange rate," Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) said in a statement.

This, it said, resulted in recording forex losses with respect to Long Term Foreign Currency denominated loans, as the rupee depreciated against the dollar at the end of the quarter.

The operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) loss of the company almost halved to Rs 278.6 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 569 crore in the year-ago period.

"During the quarter the company continued to take steps to reduce its cash outgo. SSTL recorded its lowest full year OIBDA loss in the last three years," SSTL Chief Financial Officer Sergey Savchenko said.

All but one licence of the SSTL were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February, 2012 along with 101 other 2G telecom licences.

The company had to bid for fresh spectrum in March 2013 to continue its operations.

"During the quarter, our focus was on retaining subscribers, controlling expenses and preparing for auctions," Sistema Shyam Teleservices' President and Chief Executive Officer Vsevolod Rozanov said.

SSTL's data card subscriber base for the quarter declined by 2 percent to 1.78 million subscribers due to uncertainties and the new regulatory requirements for customer registration, the statement said.

Following auctions, SSTL secured spectrum in eight circles --Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) & West Bengal -- for Rs 3,639 crore.

"With Rajasthan circle also a part of SSTL's footprint, we will be able to potentially service 40 percent of country's population, address around 60 percent of data business potential and safeguard 75 percent of our current revenues," Rozanov said.

The revenue of the firm during the last quarter of 2012 declined marginally by 0.54 percent at Rs 390.2 crore from Rs 392.3 crore it reported at the end of corresponding period in 2011.

For the year ended December 31, SSTL net loss reduced to Rs 2,982.1 crore from Rs 3,531.4 crore it posted in previous fiscal.

The OIBDA loss of the company narrowed to Rs 1,445.6 crore on annual basis from Rs 1,892.7 crore at the end of 2011.

The annual income of the company increased by 31 percent at Rs 1,619.2 crore in 2012 from Rs 1,234.9 crore in 2011.

The total capital expenditure investments made by SSTL in India at the end of December 31, stood at Rs 6,568 crore. This included investment of Rs 18.2 crore made during fourth quarter of 2012.

Consolidated debt from banks and financial institutions at the end of December 31, 2012 stood at Rs 5,670 crore, it said.