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Bharti Infratel Q1 profit jumps 39% YoY

The consolidated revenue, however, increased by only 1 per cent to Rs 3,712 crore.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 24, 2019, 08.55 PM IST
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Kolkata: Bharti Infratel reported strong net profit growth in the fiscal first quarter, driven by a net rise in co-locations on its telecom sites and expects the trend to continue with big phone companies likely to focus on network rollouts after recent mega fund-raises.

India’s sole listed telecom tower company’s consolidated net profit for the April-June period came in at Rs 887 crore, reflecting a 39% on-year jump over last year. Net profit was nearly 46% higher sequentially from Rs 608 crore reported in the March quarter, FY19.

Quarterly consolidated revenue, in turn, rose 1% on-year to Rs 3,712 crore, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The telecom tower company’s results were announced after market hours. Bharti Infratel’s stock closed 0.88% higher at Rs 264.10 on BSE on Wednesday.

“After negative trend in net co-locations for the last six quarters due to consolidation in the telecom industry, we had net additions in co-locations this quarter,” Bharti Infratel chairman Akhil Gupta, said in a statement.

Co-locations are points where a tower company deploys mobile telecom antennae of multiple carriers on a single structure.

The top executive expects “the trend would continue” as operators, post-consolidation and raising of significant capital recently would focus on fresh network rollouts to increase both coverage and capacity.

Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have concluded mega fund-raises, via rights issues, a sizeable chunk of which will be deployed in ramping up their 4G networks to effectively take on Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The company’s consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation (Ebitda) rose 28% on-year to Rs 1,953 crore in the June quarter, while operating free cash flow rose 22% on-year to Rs 1,207 crore.

Bharti Infratel reported 523 net on-quarter additions in co-locations, taking the total count to 1,73,247 as of June-end. This led to a 7% sequential rise in the sharing revenue per tower to Rs 81,503. The company though lost a whopping 27,531 co-locations on-year, courtesy the negative trend innet co-locations for the past six quarters amid rapid sector consolidation.

The company’s tower base rose 873 on-year and 354 sequentially to 92,632 in the fiscal first quarter.

Bharti Infratel’s tower base includes units by virtue of its 42% stake in Indus Towers. Last month, the Chandigarh bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) cleared the Indus-Bharti Infratel merger that will create one of the largest telecom tower companies globally, estimated to have over 1,63,000 towers across 22 telecom service areas in the country.

The company’s consolidated expenses for the June quarter fell 18% on-year to Rs 1,759.1 crore. The largest components were power & fuel, which fell 4%, followed by repairs & maintenance and employee expenses that fell 30% and 4% respectively

Separately, at the company’s 13 th AGM, Bharat Sumant Raut, Jitender Balakrishnan, Leena Srivastava and Narayanan Kumar were re-appointed as independent directors for a further term of five years w.e.f. April 1, 2019, Bharti Infratel said in an exchange filing Wednesday.

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