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Key takeways from Bharti Airtel's Q4 results

Bharti Airtel Q4 results: Consolidated Net Profit Rs 962 crore, up 89% on year; Revenue up 13.5% to Rs 22,219 crore.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Apr 29, 2014, 08.26 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: "India data business momentum remained strong. Africa continues to disappoint," says brokerage Kotak Securities in a note.

For India, "the recurring PAT (profit after tax) growth is largely meaningless given the low base and high volatility in below-EBITDA line items, we find EBITDA growth (led by strong margin performance in India) encouraging," it said.

Bharti’s minutes growth at 3.8% on quarter was "meaningfully" lower than Idea’s 8.6%; even absolute minute additions for Idea (nearly 13 billion on quarter) were higher than Bharti’s 10 billion, it added.

Key takeaways from Bharti Airtel fourth quarter results:

- Bharti Airtel had exceptional cost of Rs 233 crore (mainly linked to Africa operations), comprising Rs 157 crore integration costs, Rs 26 crore tax provision, minority interest charge of Rs 51 crore.

- India average revenue per user (ARPU) up Re 1 from preceding quarter at Rs 196 per month; realized rate per minute of voice 37.07 paise vs 37.13 paise in Q3 - analysts concerned but Bharti Airtel says one off; total minutes on network at 264,843, up 4% vs Q3.

- Mobile data revenues at Rs 1,900 crore, up 93.4% on year; Data as a percentage of mobile services in Q4 at 11.1% vs 10.3% in Q3.

- Q4 Ebitda margins at 32.9% vs 32.3% in Q3.

- Net debt Rs 60,542 crore, up from Rs 58,356 crore last year, due to spectrum charges, Qualcomm acquisition which resulted in inclusion of Rs 5909 crore in net debt.

- Q4 net finance cost, however, fell 11.2% on year to Rs 9,91.1 crore, due to increase in investment income and decrease in derivative and forex losses, triggered by 2.9% rupee appreciation against the US dollar.

- Airtel Africa's net loss widened to Rs 744 crore from Rs 546 crore in the earlier corresponding period; revenue increased 2% on year; company says seasonally weak quarter, regulatory issues in Nigeria.

- Customer acquisitions in Nigeria hit by SIM cards ban; Africa EBITDA declined in the quarter under review.

- Airtel Africa ARPU fell to $5.5 from $5.8 in previous corresponding qtr to December 31.

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