Vodafone Idea Limited has reported a net loss of Rs 509.21 billion during the quarter ended (QE) September 2019, up from Rs 49.73 billion reported during the QE September 2018.
However, the operator’s gross revenue increased from Rs 76.64 billion to Rs 108.44 billion during the same period. The earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose from Rs 4.61 billion to 33.47 billion while the EBITDA margin increased from 6 per cent to 30.9 per cent.
The company’s financials were impacted mainly by the Supreme Court’s ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), following which provisions were to be made for AGR payments. Accordingly, Vodafone Idea has accounted for the estimated liability of Rs 276.1 billion related to licence fee and Rs 165.4 billion related to spectrum usage charges up to September 30, 2019, including the interest, penalty and interest thereon of Rs 330.1 billion. However, the operator is in process of filing a review petition.
The operator has also revised its capex guidance for the fiscal year 2019-20 from Rs 170 billion to approximately Rs 130 billion, primarily on account of savings resulting from better pricing, disaggregation of components while ordering and reduction in planned 4G footprint in non-priority areas.
Commenting on the results, Ravinder Takkar, MD and CEO Vodafone Idea Limited said, “We are in active discussions with the government seeking financial relief following the recent Hon’ble Supreme Court ruling. At the same time, we remain highly focused on rapid network integration and 4G coverage and capacity expansion in our key markets. Data experience for our customers has significantly improved post consolidation and we now lead the league tables on 4G data download speeds in the circles of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal as well as in Sikkim and Chennai. We believe this is leading to improved customer perception and consequently better 4G traction for us, as we have started to witness improved 4G subscriber additions. We remain well on track to deliver our synergy targets by Q1FY21.”