Vodafone Idea, India's largest telecom operator, on Friday reported narrowing of consolidated net loss to Rs 4,873.9 crore during the first quarter ended June 30, 2019 from net loss of Rs 4,881.9 crore in the previous quarter and Rs 5,004.6 crore in the December quarter, helped by synergies from the merger of Aditya Birla Group's Idea and Vodafone in August last year. The company said that it is on track to deliver synergy target by Q1FY21.
The consolidated financial result for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, are not comparable with previous year's figures as the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular was completed on August 31, 2018.
Consolidated revenue declined 4.3 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis to Rs 11,269.9 crore during the June quarter as against Rs 11,775 crore in the previous quarter, due to the churn of customers who recharged with 'service validity vouchers'.
The operating income or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased to Rs 3,650 crore versus Rs 1,785.3 in the March quarter, as the adoption of Ind AS 116 positively benefited by Rs 2,410 crore, the company said.
The operating expenses fell to Rs 7,619.90 crore in Q1FY20 as compared to Rs 9,989.70 crore in Q4FY19.
Kumar Mangalam Birla-led merged entity's average revenue per user (ARPU) climbed to Rs 108 in June quarter against Rs 104 in the last quarter.
Commenting on the Q1 earnings, Balesh Sharma, CEO of Vodafone Idea said: "We are delivering on our stated strategy although the benefits are not yet visible in our top line."
"As we continue to integrate our networks, our customers' data experience is significantly improving in most services areas and we now lead the league tables on data download speeds in Delhi, West Bengal and Chennai. We remain focused on expanding our 4G coverage to over a billion Indians as well as expanding our data capacities by adding more sites on TDD and deploying Massive MIMO," he added.
During the quarter under review, the company successfully raised Rs 25,000 crore through a rights issue to existing eligible equity shareholders.
As of June 30, 2019, gross debt of the company stood at Rs 1.20 lakh crore, including deferred spectrum payment obligations due to the government of Rs 89,180 crore but excluding lease liabilities. Cash and cash equivalents were Rs 21,180 crore resulting in net debt of Rs 99,260 crore (vs Rs 118,390 crore in Q4FY19).
Ahead of Q1 earnings, Vodafone Idea shares closed trade at Rs 9.25, down 4.84 per cent, on the BSE on Friday.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar