Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit jumped 89.1 per cent year on year (YoY) to Rs 2,145 crore in the second quarter of FY23, led by strong revenue growth, and 4G customer addition, the company said on Monday.
Currently carrying out beta trials of the 5G service in eight nationwide, Airtel has now seen eight consecutive profitable quarters up to the latest July-September quarter.
The company now has more than 501 million customers across 16 countries.
Airtel’s consolidated revenue from operations during the quarter under review rose 22 per cent YoY to Rs 34,527 crore. India revenues for Q2FY23 stood at Rs 24,333 crore, up 22.3 per cent YoY. Meanwhile, mobile revenues grew by 24.8 per cent on account of improved realisation.
Meanwhile, its average revenue per user (ARPU) grew by over 24 per cent YoY to Rs 190 in Q2.
While the company’s revenue growth had initially received a boost from the 20 per cent tariff hike by telecom firms in November 2021, its recent focus on capturing the 4G market has raised revenues further.
Airtel continued to gain market share in the 4G segment and added 17.8 million 4G customers in the September quarter. 4G customers now account for 64 per cent of its user base. The average data usage per customer per month rose to 20.3 GB, against 19.5 GB in the previous quarter.
The company said it added 8,000 towers in Q2, the same as the previous quarter, to augment its coverage and took initiatives to improve network quality and customer experience.
The company’s Consolidated EBITDA rose 26.4 per cent YoY to Rs 17,721 crore in Q2FY23, leading to an improvement in EBITDA margin to 51.3 per cent in Q2FY23, up from 49.5 per cent in Q2FY22.
Airtel has paid four years of 2022 spectrum dues amounting to Rs 8,312 crore. This upfront payment, coupled with ongoing moratorium on spectrum dues and AGR, will free up future cash flows and allow it to dedicate resources to drive 5G roll out, the company said.
“We have delivered yet another quarter with competitive revenue growth and improved margins. The consistency of our execution has been driven by the strength and resilience of our portfolio. Our B2B and home businesses continued their strong growth momentum while Mobile ARPU expanded to Rs 190 on the back of premiumisation and deep customer understanding,” Airtel’s MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said in a statement.
Vittal, however, added that he remained concerned about the low Return on Capital Employed that the business delivers due to pricing, which is the lowest in the world. “Given the large investments required to drive digital adoption in India we believe there is a need for tariff correction,” he said.
In the spectrum auction that concluded during the quarter, Airtel bought 19,867.8 MHz across various bands.
The company said over 1.2 million retailers are transacting and making payments every day on the Mitra App. During the quarter, Airtel Payments Bank continued to expand rapidly with a total customer base of 151 million and a highly engaged Monthly Transacting User (MTU) base of over 50 million.