Airtel defers Q2 results till Nov 14 citing AGR issue

Representative image. (Reuters photo)

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it has deferred September quarter result announcement till November 14, due to the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) issue.

The company was earlier scheduled to approve and release its Q2 numbers on Tuesday.

"...the management of the company recommended to the board of directors that the agenda item related to the approval of audited financial results for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2019... be deferred till November 14, 2019, on account of the fact that more clarity is needed on the AGR matter arising out of recent judgement of... the Supreme Court," Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

The Sunil Mittal-led company said it is approaching the Department of Telecom (DoT) to seek clarity on the total amounts involved and "request for their support to deal with this adverse outcome."

"The board of directors, in its meeting held today (Tuesday), has accepted the management's recommendation and deferred the agenda item relating to the approval of the said financial results till Thursday, November 14, 2019," the filing said.

All other agenda items shall be taken up by the board in the meeting to be resumed today in the ordinary course, it added.

Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and other telecom operators may have to pay the government a whopping Rs 1.4 lakh crore following the Supreme Court order last week that sent shock waves through an industry already grappling with billions of dollars in debt and an intense tariff war to retain customers.

The top court had upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual AGR of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer.

According to the DoT's calculations, Bharti Airtel faces a liability of around Rs 42,000 crore after including licence fees and spectrum usage charges, while Vodafone-Idea may have to pay about Rs 40,000 crore. Jio may have to pay around Rs 14 crore. 

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