Bharti Infratel posts 31% profit rise to Rs,254.1 crore

Bharti Infratel, the tower arm of Bharti Airtel, posted a 30.7 % increase in its net profit at R254.1 crore for the third quarter ended December. The company had reported a profit of R194.4 crore for the corresponding quarter last fiscal, Bharti Infratel said in a statement.

The tower company, which was listed on both the NSE and the BSE last December, said revenues during the period increased 8.33% to R2,626.4 crore against R2,424.3 crore in the year-ago period.

"Despite relatively low capex deployment by telecom operators last year due to uncertainties in telecom sector, our results reflect the significant incremental gains from increased sharing of our infrastructure," Bharti Infratel vice-chairman and managing director Akhil Gupta said. With data growing at a fast pace, the company expects increased deployment of new networks by operators in the coming year, he added.

During the quarter, the group incurred capital expenditure of R364.4 crore. "The operating free cash flow during the quarter was R549.4 crore, a decrease of 2.2% compared with quarter ended December, on account of higher capital expenditure in the current quarter," the company said.

The company had a total of 2,102 on roll employees on a consolidated basis as on December 31. Bharti Infratel's total tower base stood at 81,389, along with 1.56 lakh co-locations at the end of the reported quarter. While the total tower base has increased 3% from 79,012 towers, total co-locations increased 5% from 1.48 lakh in the October-December 2011 quarter.

The monthly sharing revenue per tower increased 3% to R67,136 in the reported quarter, the statement said.

Bharti Infratel's consolidated portfolio includes over 80,000 telecom towers. Of this, over 34,000 are its own towers, while the balance come from its 42 % equity interest in Indus Towers (a joint infrastructure company of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular).

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