India’s second-largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, has reported impressive financial results for the third quarter ended December 31, 2023. The company witnessed a significant surge in net profit and revenue, driven by strong subscriber growth and increased data consumption.
Net profit surged 54% year-on-year (YoY) to ₹2,876 crore (including owners of the parent – ₹2,442 crore and non-controlling interest – ₹434 crore), compared to ₹1,588 crore in the same period last year. Revenue rose by 6% YoY to ₹37,900 crore, up from ₹35,804 crore in Q3 FY23. India revenue witnessed an 11.4% YoY increase to ₹27,811 crore, indicating strong performance in the domestic market. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) stood at ₹208, reflecting a marginal increase from ₹203 in Q2 FY24. The company added 74 lakh 4G/5G data customers QoQ, taking the total base to 24.5 crore. Consolidated net debt reduced to ₹1.42 lakh crore from ₹1.54 lakh crore in the year-ago period.
Strong Growth in India
The Indian market remained the primary driver of Airtel’s growth. The company’s revenue in India jumped 11.4% YoY, propelled by robust performance across its mobile, fixed-line, and digital services segments. The consistent addition of 4G/5G data customers and rising ARPU contributed significantly to this growth.
Focus on Digital and 5G
Airtel continues to prioritize its digital transformation journey and 5G rollout. The company is actively expanding its digital offerings, including Airtel Xstream and Wynk Music, to cater to the growing demand for digital content and services. Additionally, Airtel is aggressively rolling out its 5G network across India, aiming to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in this space.
Challenges and Outlook
Despite the positive results, Airtel faces challenges in the form of intense competition from Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea. Additionally, rising input costs and regulatory uncertainties could impact profitability in the future. However, with its strong focus on customer acquisition, network expansion, and digital initiatives, Airtel is well-positioned to maintain its growth momentum in the coming quarters.
Impact on Investors
The strong financial performance has been welcomed by investors. Airtel’s share price jumped by 3.5% following the announcement of the Q3 results. This positive sentiment bodes well for the company’s future prospects.
In conclusion, Bharti Airtel’s Q3 results demonstrate the company’s resilience and ability to capitalize on growth opportunities in the Indian telecom market. With its focus on innovation and strategic investments, Airtel is well-positioned to remain a key player in the industry.