Bharti Airtel, one of India’s leading telecommunications giants, reported its quarterly earnings for the period ending June. The results fell short of market estimates, attributed to a combination of factors, including an unexpected foreign-exchange hit on its Nigerian operations. This is despite India’s second-biggest wireless phone operator having an intensified 5G rollout.
It further disclosed a net profit of 16.1 billion rupees ($195 million) for the quarter that ended in June. This figure notably fell below the average 28.61 billion-rupee net profit estimated by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Bharti Airtel, which had 382.8 million subscribers in India at the end of June, second only behind Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s 448.5 million, is waiting for the next round of tariff hikes in 2023 to boost its revenue. The most recent price increase occurred in 2021. According to the report, the company added 5.6 million new 4G customers and the most postpaid customers in any quarter.
The firm controlled by billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal also saw its revenue increase by 14% to 374.4 billion rupees, while operating costs increased by 9.6%. Its earnings were, however, impacted by a 34.2 billion rupee one-time foreign-exchange loss in Nigeria.
Unstable Nigerian foreign exchange hit Bharti Airtel too
The one-time foreign exchange loss of 34.2 billion rupees in Nigeria is one of the standout factors that affected Bharti Airtel’s earnings.
This setback was attributed to Nigeria’s currency devaluation which followed significant changes in the country’s exchange rate system under the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
Despite the immediate financial impact, Bharti Airtel’s Africa subsidiary lauded these changes as a positive step toward fostering a more stable Nigerian FX market.
Bharti Airtel is also banking on 5G technology
Bharti Airtel’s push for an intensified 5G network rollout is a strategic move aimed at capturing the evolving digital landscape. The telecom giant’s focus on expanding its 5G infrastructure is in line with global trends, as telecommunication companies worldwide recognize the transformative potential of 5G technology.
The race for 5G dominance has spurred intensive investment by telecom operators worldwide, with Bharti Airtel being no exception. The company’s commitment to technological advancement is evidenced by its addition of 5.6 million new 4G customers and the highest-ever postpaid customer acquisition in any quarter.
Bharti Airtel’s recent financial results reflect a dynamic landscape in the telecommunications industry, characterized by both challenges and opportunities. It shows the influence of government decisions on businesses like the foreign-exchange impact from Nigeria that affected the company’s profitability,
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