Bharti Airtel has announced its audited consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended March 31, 2016 which indicate that revenues from the firm’s Africa unit grew by 5.9% Y-o-Y (4.5% reported Y-o-Y), the highest growth in last six quarters after adjustments for the impact of divestment of tower assets.
Airtel Africa’s data revenues – now standing at US $161 million – grew by 43.1% Y-o-Y, led by increase in data customer base by 28.5% and traffic by 110.1%.
(TOP: Sharad Sapara, Director of UNICEF’s Innovation Centre and Christian de Faria (right), MD & CEO, Airtel Africa exchanging contracts during a past partnership launch).
“Data ARPU increased to US $3.5 from US $3.2 in the corresponding quarter last year. Data revenues now contribute to 15.7% of overall Africa revenues vis-à-vis 11.5% in the corresponding quarter last year. Africa underlying EBITDA margin is up Y-o-Y by 2.6% to 23.3%. Active Airtel Money customer base increased to 9.6 million, boosting the total transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 73.8% to $ 4.9 billion,” stated Bharti Airtel in a statement.
Commenting on the results, Christian de Faria, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa said: “Airtel Africa witnessed accelerated revenue growth of 5.9% Y-o-Y in Q4 on an underlying basis, which is the highest growth in last 6 quarters. Despite the quarter seasonality in the continent, data consumption and revenues have are up 110.1% & 43.0% Y-o-Y respectively. The continued focus on driving cost efficiencies has resulted in EBITDA margin improvement for a third consecutive quarter”.
India revenues for Q4’16 at Rs 18,328 crore grew by 11.7% Y-o-Y (9.9% on reported) on an underlying basis, adjusted for the impact in reduction of termination rates. This was led by strong growth of 11.9% in Mobile and 23.5% in Digital TV on Y-o-Y basis. Mobile Data revenues at Rs 3,357 crore grew by 44.5% Y-o-Y in India, led by increase in the Data customer base by 25.5% and traffic by 69.4%. Mobile Broadband customers increased by 79.9% to 35.5 Mn from 19.7 Mn in the corresponding quarter last year. Data ARPU has moved up by Rs 21 (Y-o-Y) to Rs 196 in Q4’16, led by 31.0% increase in usage per customer. Mobile Data revenues now contribute to 23.3% of Mobile India revenues vis-à-vis 17.6% in the corresponding quarter last year.
Consolidated EBITDA at Rs 9,188 crore grew 14.1% Y-o-Y with EBITDA margin expanding by 1.8% to 36.8%, driven by India’s margin expansion of 1.5% Y-o-Y. The consolidated EBIT of Rs 4,319 crore represents a Y-o-Y growth of 1.1%, despite of higher spectrum amortization expense in India. Net interest costs of Rs 1,524 crore have risen from Rs 858 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Stable currencies in most of the geographies resulted in lower forex and derivative losses of Rs 190 crore compared to Rs 1,081 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. After accounting for exceptional items (net losses of Rs 225 crore), the Consolidated Net Income for the quarter stands at Rs 1,290 crore.
In a statement, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said: “Our focus on network and customers has resulted in a strong year of 12.4% Y-o-Y growth. Solid execution has resulted in an acceleration of revenue market share even as our non-mobile businesses continue to grow smartly and now contribute materially to the overall Airtel growth story. Y-o-Y Mobile data growth continues to lead, with traffic and revenues up 69.4% and 44.5% respectively. Voice volumes have also increased 10.8% – the fastest growth in the last 18 quarters. With the proposed spectrum acquisitions from Videocon & Aircel, we will be the only pan-India 2G/3G/4G operator and best placed in the Industry to strengthen our leadership position”.
The Board has proposed a final dividend of Rs 1.36 per share (face value of Rs 5 per share) for the financial year ended March 31, 2016, subject to approval by the shareholders (PY: Rs 3.85 per share).