Hyderabad: Registering a loss for the second time in 14 years, Bharti Airtel Ltd incurred a net loss of Rs 23,045 crore for the second quarter of 2019-20 financial year. The Telecom giant posted Rs 118 crore net profit in the previous corresponding quarter. Bharti Airtel made a high provision for liabilities after the Supreme Court verdict on adjusted gross revenue (AGR). Before the provisioning rule, the net loss of Bharti Airtel for the second quarter was Rs 1,123 crore.
Three weeks ago, the apex court upheld the Centre’s broader definition of revenues, while rejecting the adjusted gross revenue model submitted by the domestic telecom operators. Based on its more expansive meaning of revenues, the Centre calculates levies on telecom operators. The latest Supreme Court judgment ended the 14-year legal battle between telecom operators and the Department of Telecom (DoT).
The telecom operators were told to come with their assessment of dues. Based on the Supreme Court judgment and spectrum usage charges, Airtel provided Rs 28,450 crore as a charge for the second quarter. It includes Rs 3,750 cr and interest on penalty of Rs 6,307 cr towards licence fee.
Bharti Airtel recorded Rs 10,811 crore revenues for the second quarter, which ended in September, as against the Rs 10,724 crore in the first quarter, which ended on June. Revenues rose 4.90 per cent during the second quarter.
The mobile operator improved its subscriber base from 276.81 million in the first quarter to 279.43 million in the second quarter. Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO of Airtel India, said that the group requires additional finance to adhere to the Supreme Court judgment.
Bharti Airtel posted a net profit of Rs118.80 crore as against the Rs 1,425 crore forecast made by analysts. The company gained in the form of a corporate tax cut. It has a deferred tax gain of Rs 8,932 crore for the quarter. It posted a rise of 40.90 per cent in consolidated EBITDA, which stood at Rs 8,936 cr.
Vittal further added that Airtel could improve revenue growth despite a weak second quarter.
“We’re confident of strong data traffic growth of over 80 per cent on year-over-year. We added eight million 4G subscribers during the second quarter,” said Vittal.