NEW DELHI :
UK-based Vodafone Group on Thursday quashed rumours of it exiting its India operations, and said that it was supportive of the local management and was also actively engaging with the Indian government.
“Vodafone is aware of the unfounded and baseless rumours circulating in some of the Indian media that we have decided to exit the market. We would like to categorically state that this is not true and is malicious," Vodafone Group said in a statement, which comes a day after news agency IANS reported that the telecom major was planning to exit India given its mounting losses.
“Vodafone is actively engaging with the government and we are fully supportive of our local management as they continue to manage our joint venture in these challenging times," it added.
Vodafone Idea, the merged entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which is India’s largest operator by subscriber base, said it was not in a position to comment on media reports, as it was not aware of anything regarding Vodafone Group’s exit from India.
In a clarification to BSE on Thursday, Vodafone Idea said: “As regards exit of India operations by Vodafone Group is concerned, we wish to inform you that the company is not aware about anything on the subject as it pertains to Vodafone Group and, hence, cannot comment on the same."
In March 2017, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had announced their merger following Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s entry in 2016.
Vodafone Idea has completed the network integration process in 11 out of 22 circles, and expects to complete the process by June 2020. The combined entity has been facing tough times, with shrinking revenue and a gross debt of ₹1.2 trillion as on 30 June.
Since the merger, the company has lost subscribers every month. Its active subscriber base declined from 334.1 million in the March quarter to 320 million in the June quarter. It had posted a loss of ₹4,873.9 crore in the June quarter, despite witnessing higher data consumption on its network and signing up more 4G subscribers.