Airtel Nigeria Suffers 31% Drop In Quartely Profit Due To Nigeria’s Poor Economy


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INDIA’S largest telecom net­work operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd, reported a 30.8 percent fall in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, blaming an ad­verse foreign exchange impact in Nigeria, although it beat analysts’ estimates.

Consolidated net profit fell to 14.62 billion rupees ($218 million) in the quarter ended June 30, from 21.13 billion rupees last year, the company said.

Analysts on average had expected a net profit of 11.59 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Bharti Airtel, headed by Indian billionaire Sunil Mit­tal, said total revenue rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier to a record 255.47 billion rupees, helped by new customers signing up for the company’s 3G and 4G data services.

During the quarter, the Ni­gerian naira depreciated by 42 percent, forcing the company to register an exceptional loss of 7.48 billion rupees as a re­sult. Bharti derives about 7 percent of its consolidated EBITDA (earnings before in­terest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) from Nigeria, analysts estimate.

Restructuring in some oth­er countries also hurt profits, the company said.

Mobile data revenue dur­ing the June quarter rose 35 percent to 35.25 billion ru­pees from a year ago, Bharti Airtel said. Average revenue per user (ARPU) of data rose 10-fold from a year earlier to 202 rupees during the quarter.

The proliferation of cheap smartphones, led by Chinese brands, has prompted more Indians to use their handsets to access the Internet and demand faster downloads. An Internet-based startup boom in the country has also seen increased adaptability on smartphones, bolstering demand for high-speed data.

Over 100 million smart­phones were sold in India, the world’s second-biggest mobile phone market by customers, last year and that number is ex­pected to grow by over a quarter this year.                                                                                    The Sun

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