Bharti Infratel's net profit went down by 17 per cent for the July-September quarter of 2017-18, a company statement said on Monday. "Mobile market continues to experience value erosion and financial stress led by competitive pressures", the company said.
India's telecom industry is roiled by a price war triggered by the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani's wireless venture Jio in September past year.
According to analysts, interconnect charges now account for 12 per cent of Airtel's operating profit.
Revenue from operations slipped 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 21,776.9 crore for September quarter, which was largely in line with estimates.
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India ARPU for voice and data combined fell 6.3% on quarter to its Rs 145, its lowest ever.
Its data customer base increased to 65.77 million at the end of September quarter 2017, higher by 5.1 percent compared with previous quarter.
"The financial stress in the industry continues due to double digit revenue decline and will be further accentuated by the reduction in IUC (Interconnect Usage charges) rates in the next quarter", PTI quoted Gopal Vittal, CEO, India.
This will eventually force operator consolidation and exits as the industry has witnessed in the recent past, he added.
The company posted a net profit of Rs 343 crore for September quarter, 2017 as against Rs 1461 crore in the same period a year ago, showing a decrease of 76.5%.
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"The forex and derivative loss for the quarter was at Rs 422 crore compared to loss of Rs 302 crore in the corresponding quarter past year", it said.
Bharti, which has about 383 million customers across 17 countries in Asia and Africa, said its total revenue fell 12% to 217.77 billion rupees as sales in the Indian market shrank.
Shares of BHARTI AIRTEL LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.497.65 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 492.8.
Consolidated Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at Rs 8,004 crore declined 15.4 per cent year-over-year and Ebitda margin dropped 1.6 per cent to 36.8 per cent over the same period.
The consolidated operating margin declined 1.6%, while net debt increased 4% sequentially as it continued to invest in expanding its network to take on Jio's pan India reach.
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The forex and derivative loss for the quarter widened to Rs 422 crore compared to loss of Rs 302 crore in the same quarter previous year.