- Airtel’s Profit Falls by 78%
India’s largest private telecom firm, Bharti Airtel, yesterday reported its lowest quarterly net profit in about 15 years, as competition with free voice calls and dirt-cheap data tariffs from new entrant, Reliance Jio, ate into its margins.
Airtel posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 82.9 crore (or 21 paisa per share) in January-March quarter of 2017-18 fiscal as compared to Rs 373.4 crore (or 93 paisa a share) in the same period of the previous fiscal.
Aside Nigeria, Airtel operates in 16 other African countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
According to reports, this was the eighth consecutive drop in quarterly profit and the smallest since April-June 2004.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, which debuted in September 2016, has signed up a staggering 168 million subscribers by offering affordable data and free calls (and ploughing billions of dollars into the infrastructure and network that transmits them).