Voda­fone In­dia’s Apr-sep ser­vice rev­enue de­clines 15.8% to Rs19,002 cr

Mint ST - - CORPORATE - BY AM­RIT RAJ am­rit.r@livemint.com NEW DELHI

Voda­fone In­dia Ltd on Tues­day re­ported a de­cline on all key fi­nan­cial pa­ram­e­ters in the April-septem­ber pe­riod, as com­pet­i­tive pres­sure took its toll on In­dia’s sec­ond largest telco.

The Mum­bai-based com­pany’s ser­vice rev­enue de­clined 15.8% to Rs19,002 crore; Ebitda, or earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, taxes, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­za­tion, an in­di­ca­tor of op­er­at­ing prof­itabil­ity, fell 39.2% to Rs4,074 crore; and the Ebitda mar­gin nar­rowed 8.2 per­cent­age points to 21.4%. Voda­fone cut cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture by 13% to Rs2,915 crore.

In a state­ment, the com­pany blamed “con­tin­ued price com­pe­ti­tion from new op­er­a­tor and in­cum­bents, sea­son­al­ity and GST (goods and ser­vices tax)” for its rev­enue tak­ing a hit.

A fierce price war trig­gered by the en­try of Re­liance Jio In­fo­comm Ltd in Septem­ber last year and heavy spec­trum ac­qui­si­tion costs have hit In­dian tel­cos. Re­liance Jio started charg­ing cus­tomers in April af­ter of­fer­ing its ser­vices free for al­most six months.

Voda­fone in­creased its cus­tomer base by 3.3% to 207 mil­lion and reg­is­tered an in­crease of 600 ba­sis points in its rev­enue mar­ket share to 23.1% in the quar­ter ended 30 June. How­ever, it said the com­pany’s ser­vice rev­enue Arpu (av­er­age rev­enue per user) took a beat­ing due to stiff price com­pe­ti­tion and it now stands at Rs146 per user. One ba­sis point is one-hun­dredth of a per­cent­age point.

“We see signs of pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments with con­sol­i­da­tion of smaller op­er­a­tors. We are mak­ing good progress in se­cur­ing req­ui­site ap­provals for our merger with Idea Cel­lu­lar and in mon­e­tiz­ing our tower as­sets,” Su­nil Sood, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said in a state­ment on Tues­day. “We re­main com­mit­ted to play­ing our due role in en­abling Dig­i­tal In­dia by ful­fill­ing the evolv­ing needs of in­creas­ing vol­umes, speed and con­nec­tiv­ity so­lu­tions for both re­tail and enterprise cus­tomers.”

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