New Delhi: Reliance Communications, the second-biggest mobile carrier by customers in the country, reported a 57% drop in quarterly profit, its sixth straight quarter of profit fall, hit by lower call prices and costs from its heavy debt burden.
Reliance Comm, controlled by Anil Ambani, the sixth richest Indian, said consolidated net profit after adjustment of share of minority interest and associates fell to Rs 4.80 billion ($105 million) for its fiscal third-quarter ended December, from Rs 11.08 billion in the year-ago quarter.
A Reuters poll of 12 brokerages had expected the Mumbai-based firm to report a net profit of Rs 3.97 billion.
Reliance Comm has so far been unsuccessful in its fund-raising plans to reduce its heavy debt, which stood at $6.4 billion at end-September. The company is looking to sell a stake in its tower business and is also hunting for a strategic investor to sell up to 26% in itself, among other options.
Reliance Comm has lost about a third of its market value this year to be the worst-performing stock among the benchmark index’s components.
The company’s executives are among those who authorities are investigating as part of a probe into a telecoms licence row that a government auditor said could have cost the government upto $39 billion in potential revenue.