Mumbai: Telecom major Vodafone India Tuesday reported a tepid 4.1 percent rise in pre-tax profit at Rs 13,115 crore for 2015-16, helped by a 45 percent surge in data revenue.
The British telco, which is planning to launch a share sale in the country, had reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of Rs 12,598 crore in the year-ago period.
Revenue rose by 5 percent to Rs 44,303 crore and Managing Director and Chief Executive Sunil Sood attributed this to regulatory actions like drop in call termination rates, cut in national roaming fees and service tax hike.
Revenue growth was helped largely by data, which posted a 45 percent jump to Rs 8,263 crore and now occupy over 19 percent of the overall revenue pie.
Ebitda margins slipped marginally to 29.5 percent, but chief financial officer Thomas Reisten said the company is working with profit in mind and this will expand in future.
It added 8 percent more subscribers to touch around 198 million in 2015-16, while average revenue per user, excluding the impact of the regulatory actions, was stable at Rs 205.
There was a 15 percent growth in postpaid subscriber base, who now constitute for over 14 million users.
Reisten said on the voice front there was a decline in the average revenue per minute during the fiscal on competitive pressures, but the March quarter showed a marginal increase of 0.1 paisa to take the number to 22.6 paise.
On the data side, there has been 12 percent growth in those consuming over 1 MB at 44.8 million, while the number of subscribers using the high-speed 3G and 4G services is now at 27.8 million, up 43.3 percent.
"The company added 35,000 telecom sites in the fiscal, with over 18,000 additions in the March period alone," Sood said adding that the company has a network of 1,37,332 sites, of which 62,673 are 3G and 4G sites. It invested over Rs 8,000 crore during the fiscal in capital expansion.
Standalone debt of the company stood at Rs 81,500 crore, which includes the spectrum cost.
"Given that spectrum is a scarce resource, Vodafone is looking at adding airwaves through either spectrum trading/ sharing/purchase in a government auction," Sood said.
When asked about the proposed initial public offering which has been in the making for some years now, Sood said its global board is yet to give a final nod to go ahead with the share sale and the company is doing the groundwork for the issue based on an initial permission.
He, however, declined to answer on specifics like the valuation which the company is looking at or the timeline.
When asked if the IPO hinges on the outcome of the protracted tax cases which the company is fighting, Sood said the matter involves the parent and the government and its balance sheet is not impacted by these.