The Idea Cellular of Aditya Birla Group’s, which is in the final part of the merger process with Vodafone India, the company reported a net loss on Saturday of Rs 1,018 crore on a standalone basis during the last quarter of the 17-18 financial year. This is its sixth straight quarter of reporting losses, as it perpetuates to reel under the pressure of below-cost tariffs unleashed by Reliance Jio.
The company was also impacted during the current quarter by the cut in international termination rate established by the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) since February. However, it’s managed by an operator to narrow its net loss to Rs 1,018 Cr. from Rs 1,352 Cr. during 3rd Quarter of FY18, when it was impacted by a 57 percent cut mobile termination in domestic charge also established by the TRAI. Lower, below-cost tariff as a result of bundled data and voice plans, which has seen most consumers move to lower packs, saw the company’s standalone during the quarter revenue has declined at Rs 6,137.3 Cr., which is lower by 5.7 percent compared to the preceding quarter.
Idea cellular revenue during the quarter was impacted by Rs 52 Cr. due to the cut in international termination rates from 53 paise a minute to 30 paise per minute with effect from February 1, said by the Company. On key operating metrics, Idea also witnessed the same trend as other operators like Bharti Airtel have been witnessing — lower data packs and voice bundled leading to higher volumes of consumption of both data and voice on the part of consumers but lower realization for the operators.
The company said though there has been a sharp rise in volumes, voice rate declined by 20 percent QoQ to 13.4 paise per minute (vs 16.8 paise in Q3 FY18). Similarly, mobile data rate fell by 1.4 paise per MB, down 31.4 percent against 2 paise per MB in Q3 FY18. (Data source: TIE)
Even as Idea got hit on the revenue and profit front, the company managed to increase its Ebitda during the quarter, which rose 18.3 percent QoQ to Rs 1,447 Cr., while Ebitda margins were up at 23.6 percent compared to 18.8 percent in the preceding quarter. The company blamed its and the industry’s woes on new competitor Reliance Jio.