Uninor narrows losses to around Rs 180 cr in Jan-Mar quarter

It had reported operating loss of NOK 4,684 million (around Rs 4,342.51 crore) in the same period last year.

Updated: Apr 26, 2013, 20:31 PM IST

New Delhi: Norwegian telecom major Telenor's Indian arm Uninor has narrowed its operating loss to Norwegian Krone 194 million (about 179.83 crore) for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

It had reported operating loss of NOK 4,684 million (around Rs 4,342.51 crore) in the same period last year.

The revenues of the company were down 29.83 percent to NOK 708 million (Rs 657.07 crore), compared to NOK 1,009 million (Rs 936.36 crore) in the same period last year.

"It is Uninor's stated ambition to reach a pan-India break-even within 2013," Uninor Chief Operating Officer Yogesh Malik said in a statement.

"We are satisfied to see that our mass market focus, smart and simple operating strategy and relentless pursuit of cost efficiencies are taking us in the right direction towards that goal," he added.

In February 2012, the Supreme Court had cancelled 122 licences -- including all 22 of Uninor -- in the 2G spectrum allocation case and the company was required to win spectrum in the November 2012 auction to continue its services.

At the time of cancellation of its licences, Uninor had operations in 13 circles. However, it could win spectrum only in six circles for about Rs 4,018 crore in the last auction in November. The company had 23.6 million subscribers at the end of the quarter.

"The operational circles added 1.4 million subscriptions during the quarter, making a positive shift from the negative development experienced in the fourth quarter of 2012," the Telenor group statement said.

It adding: "Closure of the three circles Mumbai, West Bengal and Kolkata affects the total subscription base by 4.6 million in first quarter."

The company said subscription development continues to be affected by implementation of stricter customer identification requirements.

"This is resulting in lower gross additions, reduced churn and improved quality in the subscription base. The monthly churn rate was 5 percent, down from 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012," it added.

The average revenue per user of the company stands at Rs 94, up from Rs 90 last quarter.

Globally, Telenor reported a near six-fold jump in net profit at NOK 3.6 billion for the quarter ended March 31.

The company had reported net profit of NOK 584 million in the same period last year.

The revenue of the company was, however, down 1.6 percent to NOK 24.7 billion for the January-March quarter, as compared to NOK 25.1 billion in the same period last year.

"The first quarter of 2013 is characterised by a solid operating cash flow of NOK 5.6 billion, strong margins in several operations and good progress in operational performance in India," Telenor Group President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in a statement.