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Bharti Airtel turns a surprise profit of Rs 97 crore in June quarter due to tax gains

Deferred tax gains to the tune of Rs 1,844.3 crore that Bharti Airtel received in the current fiscal provided the nudge for the unexpected profit, when most analysts were expecting a hefty loss in the quarter under review.

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Bharti Airtel turns a surprise profit of Rs 97 crore in June quarter due to tax gains

Indian telecom conglomerate Bharti Airtel managed to defy street expectations and come out with a profit in the June quarter. After the slim profit the telecom major managed in the March quarter of the last fiscal, it seems to be finding its feet back in the competitive Indian telecom industry. Bharti Airtel posted a sequential rise of 17.37 per cent in its profit attributed to owners, which rose to Rs 97.3 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2018. In the previous quarter, this figure stood at Rs 82.9 crore.

This, however, is 74 per cent lower than the figure of Rs 367.7 core recorded during the corresponding quarter last fiscal. Deferred tax gains to the tune of Rs 1,844.3 crore that Bharti Airtel received in the current fiscal provided the nudge for the unexpected profit in the quarter under review, when most analysts were expecting a hefty loss.

The consolidated profit for the period stood at Rs 479.06 crore. The consolidated revenue from operations of Bharti Airtel stood at Rs 20,080 crore in the June quarter of current fiscal, which is 2.2 per cent higher than 19,634.3 crore seen in the March quarter of fiscal year 2017-18. Operating profit for Bharti Airtel stood 2.9 per cent lower at Rs 6,725.8 crore in the June quarter, whereas the operating margins slipped 180 basis points to 33.5 per cent.

"Consolidated EBITDA at Rs 6,837 crore declined 12.6 per cent Y-o-Y. Consolidated EBITDA margin decreased by 1.6 per cent to 34.0 per cent in the quarter as compared to 35.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter last year. Consolidated EBIT dropped by 43.8 per cent Y-o-Y to Rs 1,680 crore," Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

In the June quarter, Bharti Airtel saw its standalone loss balloon to Rs 1,457.20 crore as opposed to Rs 760.2 crore in the previous quarter. The telecom giant had posted a standalone profit of Rs 280.6 crore in the corresponding quarter for the year before.

"Industry pricing continues to remain untenable. However, led by our successful bundles, content partnerships and handset upgrade programs, our mobile data traffic surged 355 per cent on a Y-o-Y basis. Non-mobile portfolio also continues to witness healthy growth on back of investments in home passes and HD content," said Bharti Airtel's India MD and CEO Gopal Vittal.

The Indian telecom giant also posted good numbers from its Africa businesses. Airtel Africa's net revenue grew by 16.6 per cent on a Y-o-Y basis. "Data traffic grew by 75 per cent, voice minutes increased by 44 per cent, and Airtel Money throughout grew by 43 per cent on a Y-o-Y basis. Consequently, EBITDA margin has expanded by 7.8 per cent Y-o-Y. Q1 EBITDA margin is 36.4 per cent," said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel Africa.

At the end of the day, the Bharti Airtel closed at 357.60-mark after climbing 5.75 points or 1.63 per cent before the Q1 results of the company were released.

(Edited by Vivek Punj)

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