In its fourth quarter results declared on Thursday, the telecom operator reported that its consolidated net loss has narrowed to Rs 6,419 crore from Rs 6,563 crore a year ago and Rs 7,988 crore a quarter ago. Revenue from operations rose nearly 3% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 10,532 crore.
For FY23, however, the loss widened to Rs 29,301 crore from Rs 28,245 crore a year ago. Revenue from operations rose nearly 10% to Rs 42,177 crore.
The operator’s 4G subscriber base has increased to 122.6 million in the March quarter from 121.6 million in the December quarter.
Operating profit, calculated as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved marginally to Rs 4,210 crore from Rs 4,181 crore a quarter ago. Operating margin was a tad higher at 40% from 39.4% a quarter ago.
The company managed to see continued network capacity expansion, supported by spectrum refarming and network upgrade.
Vi’s interest cost reduced to Rs 4,908 crore from Rs 6,285 a quarter ago. “We are pleased to report annual revenue growth for the first time post-merger on the back of consistently improving performance for the last several quarters,” said Akshaya Moondra, CEO, Vodafone Idea. “We continue to remain engaged with our lenders for further debt fund raising as well as with other parties for equity or equity linked fund raising, to make required investments for network expansion, including 5G rollout,” Moondra added.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) improved to Rs 135 from Rs 124 a year ago, primarily aided by the migration of subscribers to higher ARPU plans, the company said.
However, the overall subscriber base declined to 225.9 million in the last quarter from 228.6 million in the December quarter.
Capital expenditure for the quarter stood at Rs 5.6 billion, taking the total capex spend for FY23 to Rs 33.6 billion.
The total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, as of March 31, stood at Rs 2.09 lakh crore, compared to Rs 2.23 lakh crore as of December 31, due to conversion of debt.
This represents NPV of interest arising due to deferment of spectrum instalments and AGR dues into equity issued to the government. It comprises deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1.3 lakh crore, AGR liability of Rs 655.5 billion due to the government, debt from lenders of Rs 114 billion, and optionally convertible debentures amounting to Rs 16.1 billion.
With cash and cash equivalents of Rs 2.3 billion, the net debt stood at Rs 2.09 lakh crore. Ahead of the earnings release, the stock ended 0.7% higher on the National Stock Exchange at Rs 7.