10 November 2012

Nigeria: Bharti Airtel Revenues Reach U.S.$3.7 billion As Profits Slide

India's Bharti Airtel has announced that its second-fiscal quarter revenue rose by 17 per centwhilethe profitfell by nearly a third. Revenue reached $3.7 billion, led by strong growth of 77 per cent in India Mobile Data, 26 per cent in 'Airtel business' (B2B), 26 per cent in digital TV and 29 per cent in Africa.

Mobile voice revenues in India were depressed due to the seasonal effect. However, net profit fell by 29.8 per cent to $132 million.

The company did not explain the reason for the reduction in profits, although it followed an ongoing downward trend at the company. Africa continued to witness steady year-on-year growth, fuelled by 21 per cent increase in customer base, 32 per cent traffic increase and 56 per cent increase in non-voice revenues.

The company's efforts to counter economic headwinds were successful in Q2 in terms of minute elasticity. Amidst intensified competitive pressures, Airtel has continued to keep its focus on leading the market development through network (including 3G) and distribution expansion, and affordable pricing.

Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman andmanaging director, Bharti Airtel, said, "despite a seasonally weak quarter, I am pleased to see that our overall revenue growth has sustained through diversified segments and geographies as well as the continuing healthy demand in data services. I am also happy to note that in India, the much needed market corrections in customer acquisition practices have been put in place by the operators.

"Our African operations continue to reflect sustained and steady growth on all major parameters of revenues, profitability and cash flow". As on September 30, 2012, the company had an aggregate of 262.6 million customers consisting of 251.8 million mobile, 3.3 million Telemedia and 7.5 million digital TV customers. Its total customer base as on September 30, 2012 increased by 11 per cent compared to its customer base as on September 30, 2011.

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