Shailendra Bhatnagar, Bloomberg
New Delhi: Idea Cellular Ltd, a mobile-phone services provider that completed India’s largest initial offering this year, said fourth-quarter profit surged 66% after adding networks and users in smaller towns.
Net income rose to Rs1.93 billion ($47 million) in the three months ended 31 March, the company said in a statement today. Sales rose 55% to Rs13.41 billion. Idea reported earnings for the first time, after listing on 9 March.
The company, controlled by Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, plans to spend $2 billion to close the gap with Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd in the world’s fastest growing wireless market. India offers the world’s cheapest local mobile-phone call rates of as low as 2 U.S. cents a minute.
Shares of Idea, which offers services based on the Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM, platform, rose Rs4.1, or 3.6%, to Rs118.7 at 2:25 pm local time on the Bombay Stock Exchange. They have gained 39% since listing, outperforming the 10% gain in India’s benchmark Sensitive Index.