FY-2016: Airtel DTH revenue up 18 percent; adds 16.5 lakh subscribers

BENGALURU: DAS phase III has been a boost for the carriage industry in subscriber additions, revenues, and operating profits, more so during the last two quarters of FY-2016. Buoyed by the government’s decision to stick to deadlines for digitisation, the DTH industry in India is continuing its bloom run, if one were to go by the results reported by Bharti Airtel Limited about its Digital TV services (Airtel DTH) for the quarter  and year ended 31 March 2016 (Q4-2016, current quarter, FY-2016, current year).

Revenue in FY-2016 increased 17.8 per cent to Rs 2,917.8 crore as compared to Rs 2,475.9 crore in the previous year.

Note: The unit of currency in this report is the Indian rupee - Rs (also conventionally represented by INR). The Indian numbering system or the Vedic numbering system has been used to denote money values. The basic conversion to the international norm would be:

(a) 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10,000,000 = 10 million = 1 crore.

(b) 10,000 lakh = 100 crore = 1 arab = 1 billion.

Revenue in Q4-2016 increased 23.6 percent year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 784 crore as compared to Rs 634.2 crore and increased 5.6 per cent quarter-on quarter (QoQ) from Rs 742.2 crore.

Airtel’s DTH segment reported EBIT (Earnings before interest and tax) of Rs 184.3 crore (6.3 per cent operating margin) as compared to a negative EBIT of Rs 158.1 crore in FY-2015.

The segment’s EBIT for Q4-2016 grew almost 9 fold (8.9 times) YoY to Rs 72 crore (9.2 per cent EBIT or operating margin) from Rs 8.1 crore (1.3 per cent operating margin) and increased 33.8 per cent QoQ from Rs 53.8 crore (7.2 per cent operating margin).

Subscription numbers

Airtel DTH added 16.52 lakh (16.4 per cent YoY growth) net subscribers in FY-2016 to bring its subscriber base to 117.25 lakh from 100.73 lakh in the previous year. Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased to Rs 229 as compared to Rs 214 in the corresponding quarter last year. Airtel DTH reported a monthly subscriber churn of 0.8 per cent in Q4-2016 as compared to a churn of 1 per cent for the corresponding quarter of last year and a slightly lower 0.7 per cent for the immediate trailing quarter.


DAS III has resulted in Airtel’s increasing the capex for its DTH segment for FY-2016 by 40 per cent (Rs 313.8 crore) as compared to the previous year. The company’s capex spend in FY-2016 was Rs 1098 crore as compared to Rs 784.2 crore in FY-2015. The company’s cumulative investments into Airtel DTH increased 20 per cent to Rs 6,490.6 crore in the current year as compared to Rs 5,410.9 crore in the previous year.

Bharti Airtel Limited numbers

Airtel DTH contributes just about 4 per cent to Bharti Airtel’s Limited. Bharti Airtel reported total revenue of Rs 96,619.2 crore in FY-2016, 4.9 per cent more than the Rs 92,135 crore in FY-2015. Revenue in Q4-2016 grew 8.4 per cent YoY to Rs 24,983.1 crore as compared to Rs 24,013.4 crore  and grew 4 per cent QoQ as compared to Rs 23,039.8 in Q3-2016.

The company reported a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 5,484.2 crore (5.7 per cent margin) in the current year as compared to Rs 5,183.5 crore (5.6 per cent margin) in the previous year. PAT in Q4-2016 2.8 per cent YoY to Rs 1,290.3 crore (5.2 per cent margin) as compared to Rs 1255.3 crore (5.4 per cent margin) and grew 15.5 per cent QoQ as compared to Rs 1,116.9 crore (4.7 per cent margin).

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