Airtel Digital TV Q3 net loss widens 10% to Rs 1.96 bn

MUMBAI: Airtel Digital TV‘s net loss widened in the fiscal third quarter but subscriber additions stayed competitively strong in a slowing environment.

The DTH arm of telecom major Bharti Airtel posted a net loss of Rs 1.96 billion for the quarter ended December compared to Rs 1.8 billion in the trailing quarter.

The net loss in the third quarter of the previous fiscal was Rs 1.2 billion, while the total loss from Airtel‘s DTH business for the financial year ended March 2011 stood at Rs 5.18 billion on a revenue of Rs 7.7 billion. For the first nine months of this fiscal, net loss was higher at Rs 5.25 billion.

Airtel Digital TV‘s total revenue for the quarter went up to Rs 3.33 billion as opposed to Rs 2.38 billion in the preceding quarter. Revenue for nine-month period stood at Rs 9.40 billion.

The DTH operator‘s Ebitda for the quarter was at Rs 90 million as against Rs 116 million in the revious quarter. Operating margins stood at 2.7 per cent, narrowing from 3.7 per cent in the fiscal‘s second quarter.

Airtel Digital TV added 455,000 net subscribers during the quarter, seven per cent more from the trailing quarter. A late entrant, it has speeded up its subscriber base to 7.1 million compared to market leader Dish TV‘s 9.5 million, according to data available till 31 December 2011.

ARPU (average revenue per user) marginally fell to Rs 160, from Rs 161 in the earlier quarter.

At the end of the quarter, the company had its Digital TV operations in 587 districts.

Airtel Digital TV‘s cumulative investment stood at Rs 32.59 billion.

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