Idea Cellular missed market estimates as its consolidated second quarter net income shrank to nearly a tenth from a year earlier, hit by competitive pressures on the voice and data businesses. For the July–September period, Idea posted a consolidated comprehensive income of 90 crore, compared with 757.9 crore a year ago. It was nearly 59 percent lower than the 217.1 crore it reported in the April–June period.

The bottom line was hit by high net interest and financing costs, which more than tripled to 875.3 crore, while depreciation and amortization costs rose 36 percent to 1954.3 crore. The No. 3 carrier's EBITDA margin fell 5.2 percentage points on-year to 30.5 percent. Net debt was 36,401.3 crore, a tad lower than the 37,658 crore reported in the April–June quarter. Idea is the first among the top three incumbent carriers to report results for the seasonally week July–September quarter.

Revenue for the Aditya Birla Group company rose a modest 7.2 percent on-year to 9300 crore on the back of 3.2 million active subscribers being added to the network and 15.4 percent volume growth on the mobile data front. Sequentially, revenue was down about 2 percent as overall data realization rate fell 11.2 percent to 18.7 paise MB. Due to competitive pressure on the voice business, Idea's sequential voice revenue declined 5.3 percent.

Shares of Idea ended 3.8 percent lower at 77 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, underperforming a positive broader market.

Idea's average voice realization per minute, a key performance metric, fell 3.5 percent sequentially, while its blended average data revenue per MB fell 20 percent on-year to 18.7 paise from 23.4 paise in the year ago period.


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