India's second-largest mobile operator by subscriber base, Vodafone India, reported a three-fold increase in adjusted operating profits to Rs 1,853 crore in the year ended March 2013 on the back of operating efficiencies and lower acquisition costs.
Revenue grew 10.6 per cent from the previous year to Rs 35,600 crore while average revenue per user improved by Rs 11 to Rs 194. EBITDA margins improved by 3.4 percentage points to 29.7 per cent. Total EBITDA was Rs 10,641 crore. Vodafone India's revenue contribution moved up to 10 per cent of Vodafone's overall global revenue.
Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO of Vodafone India, said data services will the big growth area. The company posted a 50.5 per cent increase in data revenue to Rs 2,000 crore, which is 7 per cent of Vodafone's overall revenue. 3G users account for only 3.3 million of the data user base of 37.3 million.
India's smartphone buyer base grew by 75 per cent in the second half of 2012, but that has not translated into growth of 3G users. "Not every smartphone user uses 3G and that is a big opportunity for us," says Pieters.
The mobile operator's capital expenses last year were Rs 4,730 crore. There was an additional investment of Rs 1,100 million in acquiring spectrum. The company said it will make half of its investments in data and the rest in voice and other services in the future.
Pieters said a listing looked almost impossible this year. But the company would not shy away once there was more clarity on spectrum, maybe in 2014 o 2015.