Bharti Q3 net down 72% at Rs 284 crore

India's largest telecom company Bharti Airtel today reported a decline in its consolidated net profit for the twelfth consecutive quarter. Bharti's profit fell 72 per cent from Rs 1,011 crore in third quarter ending December 2011 to Rs 284 crore for the quarter ending December 2012 due to high interest and tax costs and forex loss.

"The profit was impacted by higher depreciation & amortisation cost (Rs 316 crore), net interest costs (Rs 284 crore), forex fluctuation losses (Rs 261 crore) and tax provisions (Rs 109 crore)," the company said in a statement.

Reacting to the fall in profit, shares of Bharti Airtel fell by 2.62 per cent to Rs 330.20 on the BSE.

During the third quarter, the company's total revenues rose 9.5 per cent to Rs 20,239 crore in the October-December quarter from Rs 18,477 crore in the year-ago period.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) from Bharti's Indian operations declined to Rs 185 during the reporting quarter from Rs 187 in the same period last year but registered an increase from Rs 177 in the second quarter of the current fiscal. Analysts say that though India operations have clocked better numbers but the delay in revival of African operations is a concern.

"The company's performance in the operations and revenue front in terms of India operations has been decent. The real concern is the African operations, which is taking more than expected time in making money for the company," said Ankita Somani, Research Analyst, Angel Broking, a financial analyst firm.

The company also feels that things will improve in the days ahead. "The worst seems to be getting over with corrections taking place in customer acquisition practices and the tariffs, which are driving quality of acquisitions and improving efficiencies. Moreover, on the data front, it is heartening to see strong growth quarter on quarter and across geographies," Bharti Airtel Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal was quoted in the release.

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