Bharti Infratel, the telecom tower arm of Bharti Airtel, on Thursday reported a 32 per cent year-on-year jump in its consolidated net profit at Rs 3299 crore for the financial year ended March 31, 2020. The company further extended the deadline for the conclusion of the company's merger with Indus Towers to June 24 from April 24 proposed earlier. This was the fourth deadline extension for the merger.
"The tower infrastructure company had posted consolidated net profit of Rs 2,494 crore in the financial year 2018-19," Bharti Infratel said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Bharti Infratel's consolidated revenue was marginally up at Rs 14,647 crore in FY20 as compared to Rs 14,582 in FY19.
Operating profit or consolidated Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) was up 23 per cent YoY at Rs 7,442 crore, while operating free cash flows stood at Rs 4,315 crore, up 2 per cent YoY.
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2020, Bharti Infratel posted consolidated net profit of Rs 650 crore compared to Rs 608 crore in the same quarter last year.
Consolidated revenue was up 1 per cent at Rs 3,624 crore versus Rs 3,600 crore in Q4FY19.
Consolidated EBITDA was at Rs 1,721 crore, representing an operating margin of 47.5 per cent.
Commenting on financial performance, Akhil Gupta, Chairman, Bharti Infratel said, "After a few tumultuous years, the Indian telecom industry took much needed constructive measures in the year gone by in the form of tariff increases. This along with encouraging trends on overall wireless data consumption has led to enhanced focus on improving the quality of networks. As a result, during the year both Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers witnessed an increase in gross additions both on towers and co-locations on a year-on-year basis."
"We believe this is a harbinger of the future especially as witnessed in the current environment of the COVID-19 crisis, where the nation's dependence on wireless networks have been further elevated," Gupta added.
Boosted by strong earnings, the board of Bharti Infratel declared a third interim dividend of Rs 4.10 per equity share of Rs 10 each for the financial year 2019-20. "This along with the two interim dividends of Rs 3.65 and Rs 2.75, would result in total dividend of Rs10.5 per equity share of Rs10 each for FY20, it said.
On Bharti Infratel-Indus Towers merger, the company said its board has further extended the "Long Stop Date" till June 24, 2020, subject to agreement on closing adjustments and other conditions precedent for closing, with each party retaining the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme.
Indus Towers is a joint venture between Bharti Infratel, UK-based Vodafone Group Plc and Vodafone Idea. Bharti Infratel and Vodafone Group hold 42 per cent stake each in Indus. Vodafone Idea holds 11.15 per cent stake and the remaining 4.85 per cent is with private equity firm, Providence. Airtel has a majority stake in Bharti Infratel.
Ahead of the earnings announcement, shares of Bharti Infratel closed Thursday's trade at Rs 166.15, down 0.81 per cent against the previous close of Rs 167.50 on the BSE.