Mumbai: Kumar Mangalam Birla owned-Idea Cellular Ltd on Saturday reported a near threefold rise in its quarterly losses for the March quarter to Rs962 crore from Rs327.7 crore in the year-ago period.

The subdued performance of the company, which reported its sixth straight quarterly loss, came on the back of the ongoing tariff wars in the telecom sector, and a steep reduction in domestic and international MTC (mobile termination charges) settlement rate.

The consolidated revenue of the fourth largest telecom operator stood at Rs6,387.7 crore during the March quarter, down from Rs8,194.5 crore it reported during the same period a year ago.

The company reported a loss of Rs4,168.2 crore during FY18, against Rs399.7 loss from a year ago. The consolidated revenue of the telecom major saw a steep decline to Rs28,631.9 crore during FY18, down from Rs36,882.7 crore the company reported during the previous year.

The overall subscriber momentum remained strong with 6 million net additions during the March 2018 quarter, Idea Cellular said in a statement.

“The blended overall customer ARPU (average revenue per user) downgraded from Rs. 114 in Q3FY18 to Rs. 105 in Q4FY18 due to enhanced competitive intensity," the statement said adding that the ARPU decline has led to a sequential quarterly revenue decline of 5.7% to Rs6,137.3 crore in Q4FY18 (against Rs.6,509.7 crore in Q3FY18) including revenue impact of Rs52 crore due to reduction in International Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) from 53 paisa to 30 paisa per minute that came into effect from February 2018.

Idea Cellular said that it remains cautiously optimistic on the India growth story and continues to expand its scale of operations. It also remains committed to optimize its operating costs in the new sector paradigm. The company is in the final leg of obtaining regulatory approvals to complete its merger with the Indian arm of global telecom major Vodafone Group Plc.

“The merger of Idea and Vodafone India is in the final leg of regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in H1CY18," Idea Cellular said in the statement. “Both the companies, have set up respective project management teams, preparing for the merger and initiated detailed planning for identified capex and opex synergies," it added.

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