Indian cellular market continues to reel under the pricing pressure that followed the launch the Reliance Jio late last year. Its aftereffects are becoming more visible as top operator Bharti Airtel posted major decline in its revenues and income. To know more, read on…

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 31, 2017: Bharti Airtel reported a major drop of over 75 in its profits for the first half of 2017-18 at Rs.710 crore against Rs.2,923 crore in H1 of 2016-17, while its revenues also declined by 13% at Rs.43,753 crore against Rs.50,198 crore.

In the second quarter ended September 30, 2017, consolidated net profits of India’s largest telecom services provider went down by 76% at Rs.343 crore versus Rs.1,461 crore in Q2 last fiscal. Similarly, consolidated revenue of the July-September quarter also declined by around 12% to Rs.21,777 crore as against Rs.24,652 crore.

India revenue for the second quarter was recorded at ₹16,728 crore, down 13 per cent year-on-year (YoY). This was primarily due to a 17 per cent (y-o-y) drop in revenues from the mobile segment. It said mobile market continues to experience value erosion and financial stress due to competitive pressures, Bharti Airtel said.

The positive signals from the results were on the mobile data front where the operator saw traffic growing four-fold to 784 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 178 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile broadband customers increased by around 34 per cent to 55.2 million from 41.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

“The financial stress in the industry continues due to double digit revenue decline and will be further accentuated by the reduction in interconnection charge (IUC) rates in the next quarter. This will eventually force operator consolidation and exits as we have witnessed in the recent past. Airtel remains committed to its goal of increasing revenue market share in this competitive environment by providing superior customer experience and strategically investing behind building more data capacities.”said Airtel’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal.

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