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Bharti Airtel Q1 result out, profit falls 28%

India's largest telecom company posted a profit of Rs 1,215.2 crore for the quarter ended June 30, down from Rs 1,681.6 crore in the same period last year. Total sales were, however, up over 38 per cent to Rs 16,982.8 crore in the reporting quarter.

BT Online Bureau | August 3, 2011 | Updated 17:20 IST

Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said its net profit dipped nearly 28 per cent to Rs 1,215.2 crore in the quarter ended June 30.

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Net profit stood at Rs 1,681.6 crore in the same period last financial year, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Total sales were, however, up over 38 per cent to Rs 16,982.8 crore in the reporting quarter, against Rs 12,285.6 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

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"Bharti Airtel has started this fiscal year on a stable note. Revenue growth has been steady across all geographies, with Africa recording a healthy sequential growth of approximately 6 per cent and annual growth of 21 per cent," Bharti Airtel Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

In India, the company's efforts in the area of cost efficiencies have helped arrest the margin decline, he added.

Shares of Bharti Airtel were trading at Rs 415 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange at about 1 pm, down 3.95 per cent from their previous close.

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Income before taxes dropped to Rs 1,719 crore in the reviewed quarter from Rs 2,072 crore in the same quarter last year, mainly on account of higher interest outgo (Rs 344 crore on the Africa acquisition) and 3G investments in India and 3G license fee amortisation (Rs 159 crore).

Last year, Bharti Airtel acquired Zain Telecom's Africa operations for $10.7 billion to become the world's fifth-largest mobile operator.

Also, the effective tax rate for Q1 increased to 29.9 per cent, mainly due to a reduction in tax holiday benefits in India, which hurt net profit.

India and South Asia revenues were up 11.9 per cent year-on-year at Rs 12,631 crore, while Africa revenues stood at $979 million (up 6 per cent vis-a-vis Q4 2010-11), the statement said.

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"The new customer-facing organisation in India will see more agile and responsive teams in action. This will also give a fillip to growth in value-added services, broadband, digital TV and Airtel money. Overall, 2011-12 promises to be an exciting year of transformation," Mittal said.

The company's overall customer base stood at 230.8 million across 19 countries.

- With PTI inputs

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