Continuing to bleed for the ninth straight quarter, telecom major Bharti Airtel on Thursday reported a 73.5 percent drop in net income at Rs. 97 crores for the three months to June due to intense competition in the mobile services market.
The company had registered a net profit of Rs. 367 crores in the same period a year ago. Consolidated income of the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led firm declined by 8.6 percent to Rs. 20,080 crores for the first quarter of this fiscal from Rs. 21,958 crores in corresponding period of 2017-18.
“Industry pricing continues to remain untenable. However, led by our successful bundles, content partnerships and handset upgrade programs, our mobile data traffic surged 355 per cent on a YoY basis,” the company’s MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said in a statement.
India revenues during April-June 2018 period declined by 7 percent on year-on-year basis to Rs. 14,930 crore, the company said.
The government on Thursday also gave final approval to the mega merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular which creates India’s largest mobile operator with about 35 percent market share and nearly 430 million subscribers.
The new telecom behemoth – Vodafone Idea Limited – will dislodge Bharti Airtel, the current market leader with 344 million customers from its pole position. The approval comes with the riders that the merged entity will have to abide by the decisions of the telecom tribunal and other courts. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had given conditional nod for the merger of these companies on July 9 and had asked them to meet the demands raised for taking merger on record.