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Bharti Airtel rallies 6% on strong Q4 results; stock nears all-time high

Shares of Bharti Airtel rallied 6 per cent to Rs 569 on the BSE on Tuesday in the early morning trade after the company reported a healthy 15.1 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in consolidated revenue at Rs 23,723 crore for the quarter ended March 2020 (Q4FY20).

The stock of the telecom services provider is trading close to its all-time high level of Rs 570 touched on May 13, 2020. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 1.1 per cent or 329 points at 30,358 at 09:25 am.

The company’s India revenues also reported a strong 14.4 per cent YoY jump at Rs 17,438 crore during the quarter. Mobile revenues witnessed a YoY growth of 21.8 per cent primarily led by increase in 4G customer base coupled with improved tariffs.

The company delivered a strong 25.2 per cent YoY growth in average revenue per user (ARPU) at Rs 154, as against Rs 123 in the same period last year. Sequentially, the ARPU rose 14.3 per cent from Rs 135. The company had announced a nearly 40 per cent tariff hike in December.

The consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) witnessed an increase of 51.7 per cent YoY to Rs 10,326 crore in Q4FY20. This led to an improvement in EBITDA margin of 10.5 p.p. YoY to 43.5 per cent, the company said.

However, Bharti Airtel posted a consolidated loss before tax of Rs 7,010 crore for Q4FY20 because of exceptional charges of Rs 7,004 crore including the payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues as compared to a profit before tax of Rs 713.5 crore a year ago and a loss of Rs 1,502.8 crore sequentially.

“These are unprecedented times for everyone across the world as we battle the impact of Covid-19 and its consequent impact on livelihoods. We are, therefore, hopeful that the government will implement the recommendations of Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and the intent of the New Telecom Policy and bring down the high levels of regulatory levies and taxes that the sector is subjected to,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

“Bharti Airtel’s subscriber adds were flat quarter on quarter (QoQ) at 284 million, but 4G subs grew 10 per cent QoQ to 136 million – 12.5 million fresh adds, garnering healthy >40 per cent est. incremental market share. The company’s data traffic is about one-third of Reliance Jio with potentially 15-20 per cent (est.) lower capacity, highlighting better network experience and room for improvement. It has 504k base stations (closer to RJio) with 192k unique broadband towers,” Motilal Oswal Securities said in result update.

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