Airtel Q4 net profit tumbles 78% to Rs 83 cr

A man packs goods on the back of his bicycle, as he stands next to the wall of a grocery shop painted with an advertisement for Bharti Airtel in Kochi. REUTERS

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday posted about 78% drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 83 crore for the quarter ending March 2018, hurt by fierce tariff war and cut in international termination charges.

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led telecom firm had registered a net profit of Rs 373 crore in the same period a year ago.

Total revenue dropped by 10.5% to Rs 19,634 crore in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared with Rs 21,935 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, according to a company statement.

"The telecom industry continues to witness below cost, artificially suppressed pricing. Industry revenues were further adversely impacted this quarter due to the reduction in international termination rates," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said in a statement.

For the full financial year that ended in March 2018, Airtel's net profit came in at Rs 1,099 crore, over 71% lower than Rs 3,800 crore logged in FY2016-17.

Total revenue for FY2017-18 stood at Rs 83,688 crore, down by 12.3% than the previous financial year, said the company which competes with operators like Vodafone, Idea Cellular and newcomer Reliance Jio in the highly-competitive telecom market in India.

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