The cash-strapped telecom operator reported a loss of ₹7,132 crore for the three months ended 30 September compared with a loss of ₹7,319 crore in the preceding three months and ₹7,218 crore in the year-earlier September quarter
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Vodafone Idea Ltd (VI) on Friday reported its 13th straight quarterly loss, although it narrowed from a year earlier.
The cash-strapped telecom operator reported a loss of ₹7,132 crore for the three months ended 30 September compared with a loss of ₹7,319 crore in the preceding three months and ₹7,218 crore in the year-earlier September quarter.
Although operating metrics of the troubled telco improved slightly, an erosion in its customer base weighed on the company’s performance.
Revenue improved 2.8% to ₹9,406 crore from the preceding June quarter but fell 13% from the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
Operating income for the quarter improved 4.2% to ₹3,862 crore sequentially, aided by the improvement in revenue. Operating margin, a measure of profitability, widened to 41.1% in the September quarter from 40.5% in the preceding three months.
Vodafone Idea said cost optimization measures resulted in 80% annualized savings on a run-rate basis by the end of the September quarter, against a targeted ₹4,000 crore. The monthly average revenue per user (Arpu) rose 5.3% to ₹109 from ₹104 in the June quarter.
“This quarter, we had taken certain pricing initiatives to improve Arpu, in line with our stated strategy. We increased the entry-level prepaid pricing plan from ₹49 to ₹79, in a phased manner, as well as raised tariffs in some postpaid plans," Ravinder Takkar, managing director and chief executive of Vodafone Idea Ltd, said in a statement.
The telco’s subscriber base fell by 2.4 million in the September quarter to 253 million. Compared to the year-ago period, the subscriber base is down by 18.8 million from 271.8 million. However, 4G subscribers saw a healthy addition of 3.3 million, taking the 4G base to 116.2 million.
“During the last quarter, we witnessed a recovery in our operating momentum as the economy started to open up gradually, aided by the ongoing rapid vaccination drive. We continue to focus on executing our strategy to improve our competitive position and win in the marketplace," Takkar said in the statement.
The telco had recently said that it has opted for a four-year moratorium for both spectrum and licence fee dues under the telecom package announced by the government. “We have the option to convert the interest arising from deferment of these instalments into equity, which can be exercised by 12 January," Takkar added.
The relief package has improved Vodafone Idea’s viability. Mint reported on 3 November that Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla is close to investing at least $150 million in Vodafone Idea Ltd in his personal capacity, as an immediate measure to keep the group’s cash-strapped telecom business afloat, following the relief measures.
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