BUSINESS

Bharti net income drops 32 %

Forex losses, stiff domestic competition impact

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday reported a 32 per cent decline in its net income at Rs. 1,682 crore for the first quarter of the current fiscal ended June 30, 2010, against Rs. 2,475 crore even as its revenues went up by 17.4 per cent to Rs. 12,231 crore from Rs. 10,414 crore in the year-ago period. The result includes the figures of newly acquired African operations of Zain Telecom for 23 days in the quarter, from June 8, 2010, the company said.

The dip in income was mainly due to foreign exchange losses and stiff competition in the domestic market. Its derivative and foreign exchange fluctuation loss stood at Rs. 216 crore during the April-June quarter as against a gain of Rs. 279 crore in the same quarter in the previous year. However, the company, which enjoys almost 22 per cent share of the Indian telecom market, said its margins have been well protected.

On the company's capital expenditure plans, Chief Executive for International Operations Manoj Kohli said it had earmarked $3.1 billion (over Rs. 14,000 crore) for India and other global operations in the current fiscal. “We are sticking to our guidance of investing $800 million a year for over three years,” he said.

Mr. Kohli also said that the board had approved the acquisition of Telecom Seychelles for an enterprise value of $62 million (Rs. 288 crore), taking the total number of countries in Africa where it operates to 16.

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