Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday, reported over 115 per cent growth in its net profit at Rs.610 crore in the third quarter ended December 2013 compared to Rs.284 crore in the same quarter in the previous fiscal.

Notably, the telecom major had been reporting decline in profits consecutively for the last 15 quarters but growth in voice and data revenues led to spurt in income.

Similarly, the company’s revenue rose 13.3 per cent to Rs.21,939 crore in the last quarter from Rs.19,362 crore in the year ago period, while its margin of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at 32.3 per cent or Rs.7,093 crore in the quarter compared with 29.8 per cent or Rs.5,995 crore a year ago.

“Our efforts over the last 12 months to improve the quality of customer acquisitions have resulted in significant reduction in customer churn. Our focus on superior internet experience has resulted in increased data adoption and usage. Data is now a huge source of revenue growth,” Bharti Airtel Joint Managing Director and CEO (India Operations) Gopal Vittal said in a statement.

Similarly, company’s Managing Director and CEO (International Operations) Manoj Kohli noted that international operations continued to achieve steady revenue growth.

“Africa had another quarter of strong growth from the 3G/data and Airtel Money services across all its markets, and we expect this trend to sustain due to large investments in brand and network.

The market growth came back in Nigeria, which is the largest telecom market in the continent,” he added.

Airtel’s consolidated mobile Internet revenue more than doubled to Rs.1,736 crore from a year earlier and accounted for over one-third of the overall incremental revenue. Its data customer base increased by 31.2 per cent to 5.44 crore and usage per customer by 54.4 per cent, which led to 97 per cent increase in total data traffic. Mobile ARPU or average revenue per user also increased by Rs.9.7 to Rs.195.

Global revenue

Its global revenue grew by 18.5 per cent (in rupee terms) with Africa growing by 17.2 per cent and South Asia by 44.8 per cent. According to Bharti Group Chief Financial Officer Sarvjit Singh Dhillon, “The 1 billion euro raised by the company through a bond sale will be used mainly to refinance debt.”

The company’s net debt was reduced to Rs.57,643 crore at the end of December 2013. Airtel is one of eight bidders in spectrum auction that begins on Monday.

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