SingTel – BT

Bharti Airtel profit slides 22% in Q3 to 10b rupees

(MUMBAI) Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest wireless operator, reported profit that missed analysts’ estimates as customers curbed mobile-phone use amid rising call rates.

Third-quarter net income fell 22 per cent to 10.1 billion rupees (S$255.6 million) in the three months ended Dec 31, from 13 billion rupees a year earlier, New Delhi- based Bharti said in a statement yesterday.

That lagged behind the 13.9 billion rupee median of 25 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Bharti raised call rates 20 per cent in most parts of India last year, after a price war sparked by the entry of Telenor ASA and NTT DoCoMo Inc into the world’s second-largest wireless market drove tariffs to less than a penny a minute.

The mobile-phone carrier controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal added fewer new customers in the quarter than smaller rivals Reliance Communications Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd.

‘Bharti’s subscriber additions are lower because they’re not in growth mode any more, so incremental minutes growth is lower,’ Unmesh Sharma, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Mumbai, said before the announcement. ‘It’s a sign of their maturity in the market.’

Bharti closed 6.5 per cent lower in Mumbai trading yesterday, compared with a 0.48 per cent advance by the benchmark Sensitive Index. The stock was the biggest percentage loser on the Sensex.

Average monthly minutes of use per user in India fell 7 per cent to 419 minutes in the three months ended Dec 31, from 449 minutes a year earlier.

The number of mobile- phone customers in the South Asian country increased 15 per cent to 175.7 million, Bharti said. — Bloomberg

SingTel – BT

Bharti Airtel profit slides 22% in Q3 to 10b rupees

(MUMBAI) Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest wireless operator, reported profit that missed analysts’ estimates as customers curbed mobile-phone use amid rising call rates.

Third-quarter net income fell 22 per cent to 10.1 billion rupees (S$255.6 million) in the three months ended Dec 31, from 13 billion rupees a year earlier, New Delhi- based Bharti said in a statement yesterday.

That lagged behind the 13.9 billion rupee median of 25 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Bharti raised call rates 20 per cent in most parts of India last year, after a price war sparked by the entry of Telenor ASA and NTT DoCoMo Inc into the world’s second-largest wireless market drove tariffs to less than a penny a minute.

The mobile-phone carrier controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal added fewer new customers in the quarter than smaller rivals Reliance Communications Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd.

‘Bharti’s subscriber additions are lower because they’re not in growth mode any more, so incremental minutes growth is lower,’ Unmesh Sharma, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities in Mumbai, said before the announcement. ‘It’s a sign of their maturity in the market.’

Bharti closed 6.5 per cent lower in Mumbai trading yesterday, compared with a 0.48 per cent advance by the benchmark Sensitive Index. The stock was the biggest percentage loser on the Sensex.

Average monthly minutes of use per user in India fell 7 per cent to 419 minutes in the three months ended Dec 31, from 449 minutes a year earlier.

The number of mobile- phone customers in the South Asian country increased 15 per cent to 175.7 million, Bharti said. — Bloomberg

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