Telecom major Bharti Airtel has reported a 53.8% YoY growth in its consolidated net profit at ₹2,442 crore during the October-December quarter of 2023-24, primarily due to sustained momentum in its India business.

The consolidated revenues stood at ₹37,900 crore in Q3 FY24, up 5.9% YoY. Airtel says its revenue growth was partially impacted by the devaluation of African currencies during Q3. Consolidated mobile data traffic at 16,656 PBs in Q3 reported a healthy YoY growth of 22.2%.

Airtel's EBITDA during the quarter stood at ₹20,044 crore, up 7.8% YoY, while the EBITDA margin at 52.9% saw an expansion of 94 bps YoY. Airtel's EBITDA margin improved on the back of “operating leverage and cost efficiencies” arising from its efforts on the waste programme. The consolidated EBIT increased 6.3% YoY to ₹9,844 crore during Q3.

“We have delivered yet another quarter of consistent and competitive growth across all our businesses. Revenue from India business sustained its momentum and grew sequentially by 3.0%, while the consolidated revenue was impacted by the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira and Malawian Kwacha,” says Gopal Vittal, MD, Airtel.

Vittal says the quarter witnessed a “strong growth trajectory” for the postpaid and homes business, while its DTH business added 388,000 net adds, its 12-quarter high. “We remain on course with our strategy of premiumisation that helped us add 7.4 million 4G/5G customers and exit the quarter with an industry-leading ARPU (average revenue per user) of ₹208.”

Bharti Airtel’s India revenues for Q3’24 at ₹27,811 crore increased by 11.4% YoY. Of this, mobile revenues grew by 11.8% YoY on account of “improved realisation and strong 4G/5G customer additions during the year”. The company’s ARPU for the quarter stood at ₹208 as compared to ₹193 in Q3’23, driven by a consistent strategy of acquiring high-value customers and improved realisations.

Airtel says during Q3, it strengthened its “leadership position in the postpaid segment,” with net adds of 900,000 (excluding IoT). In Q3’24, the company’s customer base reached 48.3 Mn (including IoT). “We continue to garner strong market share of 4G/5G customers and added 28.2 Mn 4G/5G data customers to our network over the last year, an increase of 13.0% YoY.”

In Jan’24, Airtel acquired a 97.1% stake in Beetel Teletech, along with its 49% stake in Dixon Electro Appliances Private Limited. This acquisition, says the company, is a part of the company’s strategy to enable indigenisation initiatives within its ecosystem.

In contrast, Airtel rival Reliance Jio Infocomm reported a 12.3% year-on-year rise in its net profit at ₹5,208 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2023. Its revenue also jumped 10.3% year-on-year to ₹25,368 crore for the third quarter. Jio's ARPU increased 2% year-on-year to ₹181.7, though it’s lower than Airtel.

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