Home / Markets / Stock Markets /  Bharti Airtel reports stellar Q2 results; all eyes on tariff hikes now

Telecom provider Bharti Airtel Ltd reported stellar earnings for the September quarter.

The company exceeded analysts' estimates on key parameters aided by one-time spectrum sale gain and tariff hikes undertaken in August. Consequently, on a consolidated basis, net profit surged 300% sequentially to 1,134 crore in Q2 FY22. Investors should note that net profit adjusted for this one-time gain stood at 594 crore.

Consolidated revenues on a sequential basis was up 6% at 28,326 crore. Consolidated Ebitda of 14,018 crore was up 6.2% compared to April-June. Ebitda is short for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. 

Analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said consolidated Ebitda growth was driven by a steady rise in India Mobile Ebitda, and market share wins and better growth versus Reliance Jio. "Ebitda is up 25% since last year, highlighting that the healthy subs/ARPU equation is showing gains – all this without any tariff hike," said the Motilal report.

Ebitda margin was flat 49.5% against 49% in the preceding quarter.

As far as it's India business is concerned, revenues increased 5.64% and mobile revenues were up 6.19% quarter-on-quarter. Its average revenue per user (Arpu) was in line with estimates at 153 compared to 146 in the preceding quarter.

"Mobile revenue growth of 6.2% topped Jio’s 3.6%, and Bharti’s annualised growth in the past 5 quarters has been higher by around 600 basis points," analysts at IIFL Securities Ltd said in a report. One basis point is one hundredeth of a percentage point. 

Further, analysts also point out that its subscriber additions at 2.2 million were lower than the 12–13 million additions seen in the last fiscal. This was due to tariff hikes, which increased the churn to and SIM card consolidation in the market, which is driving ARPU higher than subscriber additions, analysts said.

It's 4G subscriber additions stood at 8.1 million. Although subscriber additions are recovering from 5 million in Q1 FY22, but are still less than 12–13 million additions seen last year. Data traffic grew 5% sequentially in Q2 FY22.

"Bharti’s data traffic and data subscribers are nearly half that of RJio, with the capacity gap being far smaller; this highlights a better network experience," added the Motilal Oswal report.

Meanwhile, a key trigger for the stock now remains the much-awaited tariff hike. "Bharti's compelling cashback offer across around 150 smartphones and Jio's high upfront and monthly cost for JioPhone Next will likely keep Bharti 4G subscriber momentum strong; awaited is tariff hike in prepaid data," analysts at foreign brokerage house CLSA said in a report.

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