Bharti Airtel Q3 Results: Profit Falls 27% As Expenses Jump

Bharti Airtel’s net profit declined 26.8% sequentially to Rs 829.6 crore in the three months ended December.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A Bharti Airtel Ltd. store stands in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)</p></div>
A Bharti Airtel Ltd. store stands in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s third-quarter profit fell, missing estimates, as finance costs and expenditure increased.

Net profit of the telecom operator declined 26.8% sequentially to Rs 829.6 crore in the three months ended December, according to its exchange filing. That compares with Rs 1,021.2-crore consensus estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

Billionaire Sunil Mittal-led carrier’s revenue rose 5.4% over the preceding quarter to Rs 29,866.6 crore, against the projected Rs 29,370.3 crore. Other income jumped 81.2% to Rs 197.1 crore.

Q3 FY22 Highlights (QoQ)

  • Operating profit rose 6.3% to Rs 14,905 crore.

  • Margin stood at 49.9% against 49.5%.

  • Total expenditure rose 4.5% to Rs 15,163.8 crore. That includes network operating expenses, access charges, licence fees and marketing expenses.

  • Finance costs rose 10.2% to Rs 4,367.1 crore.

  • Average revenue per user—the amount an operator earns per subscriber per month—rose to Rs 163 from Rs 153.

Tariff hikes during the quarter aided revenue, along with 4G additions and a decline in low-cost subscribers. The full impact of the tariff hikes, however, will be visible in the fourth quarter ending March.

The carrier’s customer base stood at 35.6 crore as of December 2021. It gained 10 lakh wireless subscribers in the third quarter. The 4G subscriber base rose 1.6% quarter-on-quarter to 19.55 crore. Bharti Airtel has maintained an active subscriber market share of more than 34% since January 2021, according to the latest TRAI data.

Airtel Africa reported revenue and profit after tax of $1.22 billion (Rs 9,142 crore) and $180 million (Rs 1,350 crore) in the quarter ended December. Its revenue rose 5.1% sequentially, but net profit fell 6.3% on higher finance costs.

Africa revenue was supported by growth across regions (Nigeria, East Africa, and Francophone Africa) and services (voice, data, and mobile money business).

Shares of Bharti Airtel closed 1.42% lower before the results were announced compared with a 0.31% gain in the benchmark Nifty 50.