India’s sole listed tower company, Bharti Infratel reported a 4% drop in net profit in the fiscal first quarter, caused mainly by ongoing consolidation of networks and spectrum among carriers which led to a sharp fall in co-location of telecom sites.
The telecom tower company's consolidated net profit for the April-June period came in at Rs 638 crore, from Rs 664 crore in the year-ago period. Quarterly consolidated revenue, however, rose 4% on a like-to-like basis to Rs 3,674 crore, the company said in statement Wednesday.
The results, which were announced after market hours, followed the receipt of clearance from Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for the company’s merger with India’s largest tower company Indus Towers. It will now approach National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for approval, which will create the largest tower company outside China, with 163,000 towers across India.
Bharti Infratel’s stock rose by 0.33% to close at Rs 287.30 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
“With the consolidation phase largely over, the Indian telecom industry is now witnessing an integration phase as operators consolidate their networks and spectrum before the next phase of rollouts,” said Akhil Gupta, chairman, Bharti Infratel.
The company's consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 4% on-year to Rs 1,521 crore for the quarter ended June 2018, while operating free cash flow was flat at Rs 991 crore.
Infratel's total number of towers increased by 922 on-year and 308 on-quarter to 91,759 in the April-June period. Co-locations, however, dropped sharply by 17,623 on-year and 4,818 on-quarter, to 2.07 lakh in the same time. This resulted in a 3.6% on-year fall in sharing revenue per tower to Rs 80,014.