Bharti Airtel has reported a net profit of Rs 8.54 billion during the quarter ended (QE) December 2020, after posting losses for six straight quarters. The profit was driven by one-time gain related to the Bharti Infratel- Indus Towers merger, as well as record revenue growth backed by a strong addition of data users. The telco had posted a loss of Rs 10.35 billion during the QE December 2019.

Airtel netted a one-time income of Rs 11.52 billion on a “deemed disposal” gain of Rs 9.45 billion after it lost controlling ownership of its unit Bharti Infratel, which merged into Indus Towers.

Further, the telco posted its highest ever consolidated quarterly revenue of Rs 265.18 billion for the quarter under review, registering a growth of 24 per cent year on year (YoY).

The telco’s consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) witnessed an increase of 38.2 per cent YoY to Rs 121.78 billion in the QE December 2020. This led to an improvement in EBITDA margin from 41.3 per cent in QE December 2019 to 45.9 per cent in QE December 2020.

Airtel’s India revenues for the quarter under review stood at Rs 190.07 billion, increasing by 25.1 percent YoY. Mobile revenues grew by 32.4 per cent YoY. Resultantly, average revenue per user (ARPU) for the quarter stood at Rs 166 as compared to Rs 135 in QE December 2019.  The company continues to garner a strong share of the 4G net ads in the market. 4G data customer increased by 33.8 per cent YoY to 165.6 million compared to the previous year.

The company continues to see strong traction in its post-paid business also and added 700,000 post-paid customers this quarter. Homes business segment witnessed a revenue growth of 2.3 per cent YoY with highest ever customer additions of 215,000 during the quarter to reach to a total base of 2.79 million. Airtel also re-calibrated its offering and launched Xstream bundles with content and unlimited internet to accelerate penetration. The company continued to scale up the LCO partnership model to expand its footprint in non-wired cities, extending the model to over 120 cities.

Sharing his insights on the results, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Bharti Airtel, India and South Asia, said, “Despite the unprecedented volatility that we have confronted through the year, we delivered another strong performance this quarter. This consistency in performance was across every part of our portfolio, as reflected in market share growth across all our business segments. This has been made possible due to our agility, the continued re-orientation of our business model and our relentless focus on what truly matters – serving our customers. The main highlight of the quarter was the ~13 million 4G customers we added in our Wireless business. As a result, we grew our revenues by ~25 per cent over the same period last year and margins expanded. We are also proud to have become India’s first Telco to have demonstrated a LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city. This reaffirms our strategy to win with quality customers.”