Bharti Airtel Q3 net profit tanks 39% to Rs 306 crore

India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Thursday reported over 39% fall in its consolidated net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2017 to about Rs 306 crore.

The company's net profit stood at Rs 504 crore in the same period previous fiscal.

The company - which competes with the operators like Vodafone, Idea Cellular and newcomer Reliance Jio in the highly-competitive telecom market in India - saw its overall revenue declined 13% to Rs 20,319 crore.

Its revenue was pegged at Rs 23,336 crore in the corresponding period last financial year.

"Regulatory fiat in the form of a cut in domestic IUC (Interconnection Usage Charges) rates has exacerbated the industry ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) decline in Q318," Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

He added that the recent decision to reduce International termination rates "will further accentuate this decline and benefit foreign operators with no commensurate benefit to customers".

The company's overall customer stood at 394.2 million across 16 countries, which was 9.2% higher over the year-ago period.

"India revenues for Q318 at Rs 15,294 crore have declined by 11.3 per cent year on year (15.1% on reported) on an underlying basis, adjusted for the impact in reduction of domestic termination rates," the company statement said.

On the other hand, its Africa revenues were up 5.3% over the same quarter previous fiscal (in constant currency terms).

The companys consolidated net debt rose to Rs 91,714 crore as against Rs 91,480 crore in the previous quarter.

"The company's Board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 2.84 per share, which is a complete pass through of dividend received from subsidiaries," the statement added.

The results were declared after market hours. Bharti scrip closed 1.17% lower at Rs 494.50 a piece on the BSE on Thursday.

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