Idea Cellular quarterly net loss widens, revenue down more than 31%

Idea Cellular quarterly net loss widens, revenue down more than 31%”

Telecom major Idea Cellular widened its net loss for the December quarter to Rs 1,284 crore from Rs 1,106 crore posted during the same period a year ago. Total revenue touched Rs 6510 crore in this quarter compared to Rs 8663 crore for the same period a year ago.

In the month of September, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has cut interconnection usage charges (IUC) levied by telecom firms by 57 percent, adding that termination rates will be abolished in early 2020.

The revenue from operations came in at Rs 6,509.6 crore for the quarter ended December 2017, nearly 25 per cent lower than Rs 8,662.7 crore in the same period previous year.

"The proposed capital raising of up to Rs 6,750 crore will reduce Idea's net-debt and as a result Vodafone net-debt contribution to the merged entity will also be reduced by a commensurate amount", the statement said.

Similar to Bharti, Idea said that its revenues and Ebitda were adversely impacted by the reduction in the mobile termination rates which came into effect from October 1, 2017.

Lamenting the decline in the domestic call connect charges, Idea said that the move alongwith the recently announced drop in global mobile termination settlement charges deals "a body blow to all operators and reduces investable funds for the critical Digital India program".

Idea Cellular, the Aditya Birla-led telco said that it entered into a 4G ICR arrangement with Vodafone India during the last quarter to avoid duplication of spends and make the best use of capital expenditure. Further, the cut in worldwide mobile termination effective February 1, from 53 paise to 30 paise per minute, will once again hit all operators, but since Jio's revenues from global calls is lower than Bharti's, Idea's and Vodafone's, it will be less affected than incumbents.

The numbers comes almost a week after Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom operator, reported over 39 per cent fall in consolidated net profit for third quarter this fiscal to about Rs 306 crore.

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