Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) has announced its financial results for the quarter ended (QE) March 31, 2023. The operator has posted a revenue of Rs 105.3 billion during the quarter. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, revenue grew by 2.9 per cent aided by improvement in subscriber mix and 4G subscriber additions.
On a reported basis, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the quarter improved to Rs 42.1 billion, up 0.7 per cent and EBITDA margins were at 40 per cent. EBITDA excluding IndAS116 impact, was up by 3.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) at Rs 20.7 billion compared to Rs 20 billion in Q3FY23, primarily due to lower network expenses and lower customer acquisition cost partially offset by the increase in roaming and access charges.
The annual revenue, for first time since merger, improved compared to last year. Revenue for the year grew by 9.5 per cent from Rs. 385.2 billion to Rs 421.8 billion supported by tariff hikes, improving subscriber mix and 4G subscriber additions. As a result, EBITDA for the year increased from Rs 66.8 billion to Rs 83 billion registering strong growth of 24.1 per cent. EBITDA margin at 19.7 per cent is the highest post-merger. Meanwhile, average revenue per user (ARPU) improved to Rs 135, up 9.3 per cent YoY in comparison with Rs 124 in Q4FY22 primarily aided by migration of subscribers to higher ARPU plans.
Further, Vi’s capex spend for the quarter stood at Rs 5.6 billion taking the capex spend for FY23 to Rs 33.6 billion. The total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of March 31, 2023 stood at Rs 2.09 trillion as compared to Rs 2.23 trillion as of December 31, 2022 due to conversion of debt representing net present value (NPV) of interest arising due to deferment of spectrum instalments and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues into equity issued to the government. It comprises of deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1.30 trillion and AGR liability of Rs 655.5 billion that are due to the government, debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 113.9 billion and optionally convertible debentures amounting to Rs 16.1 billion. With cash and cash equivalents of Rs 2.3 billion, the net debt stood at Rs 2.09 trillion.
Commenting on the results, Akshaya Moondra, chief executive officer, Vi, said “We are pleased to report annual revenue growth for the first time post-merger on the back of consistently improving performance for last several quarters. Our annual revenue and EBITDA grew by 9.5 per cent and 24.1 per cent respectively compared to last financial year. We continue to see growth in ARPU and 4G subscribers. During the quarter, we have issued equity shares to the Government of India, against the loan representing the NPV of interest related to deferment of spectrum and AGR. We continue to remain engaged with our lenders for further debt fundraising as well as with other parties for equity or equity-linked fundraising, to make required investments for network expansion, including 5G rollout.”