Airtel Digital TV revenues, op profits rise in Q2 FY 2018


BENGALURU: Airtel Digital TV services (Airtel DTH), the DTH segment of Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), saw revenue grow 10 percent for the quarter ended 30 September 2017 (Q2-18, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (Q2-17, year ago quarter). The segment’s EBIDTA for Q2-18 increased 16 percent as compared to the year ago quarter (y-o-y).  Over time, Airtel DTH segment’s contribution to Airtel India revenue has grown to about 6 percent.

Airtel DTH revenue in the current quarter increased to Rs 9,639 million from Rs 8,545 million, while EBIDTA increased to Rs 3,517 million in Q2-18 from Rs 3,030 million. EBIT increased by a massive 76 percent y-o-y to Rs 1,230 million from Rs 699 million. The company’s capex investments to Airtel DTH in Q2-18 increased 26 percent y-o-y to Rs 3,191 million from Rs 2,541 million, while cumulative investments in the segment increased 9 percent to Rs 75,435 million from Rs 69,453 million.

Airtel DTH subscriber matrices

Airtel DTH subscriber base grew by 207,000 to 13.521 million in Q2-18 from 13.314 million in the immediate trailing quarter (Q1-18). In Q2-17, Airtel DTH had a subscriber base of 12.405 million. Average revenue per user (ARPU) in Q2-18 increased to Rs 233 in Q2-18 from Rs 228 in Q1-18 and Rs 232 in Q2-18. The segment had a higher customer churn in  the current quarter at 1.4 percent as compared to 0.9 percent in the immediate trailing quarter and 0.9 percent in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Overall, Airtel revenues for Q2-18 at Rs 246,520 million declined by 11 percent y-o-y primarily from Rs 246,520 million. Airtel India revenues declined 14.3 percent y-o-y to Rs 168,183 million  from Rs 196,149 led by mobile drop of 16.8 percent y-o-y. The company says that the mobile market continues to experience value erosion and financial stress led by competitive pressures.

Mobile data traffic has grown fourfold to 784 billion MB in the quarter as compared to 178 billion MB in the corresponding quarter of last year. Mobile broadband customers increased by 33.6 percent to 55.2 million from 41.3 million in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Airtel’s profit after tax in Q2-18 declined to less than half at Rs 12,990 million from Rs 27,350 million in the corresponding year ago quarter. Net income declined to less than a fourth in the current quarter at Rs 3,430 million from Rs 14,610 million in Q2-17.

Airtel MD and CEO India & South Asia Gopal Vittal said, “The financial stress in the industry continues due to double digit revenue decline and will be further accentuated by the reduction in IUC rates in the next quarter. This will eventually force operator consolidation and exits as we have witnessed in the recent past. Airtel remains committed to its goal of increasing revenue market share in this competitive environment by providing superior customer experience and strategically investing behind building more data capacities.”

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