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Bharti net up at Rs 31 crore in Q1

July 23, 2003 13:00 IST

Belying perceptions that the cellular industry was incurring heavy losses due to wireless in local loop mobile telephony, Bharti Tele Ventures on Wednesday reported a net profit of Rs 31 crore (Rs 310 million) in the first quarter ended June 2003 against a loss of Rs 68 crore (Rs 68 million) in the same period last year.

The company's total revenue during the quarter stood at Rs 1036 crore (Rs 10.36 billion) compared to Rs 538 crore (Rs 5.38 billion) in the corresponding period last year, resulting in an increase of 92 per cent.

This is significant in the backdrop of implementation of the new inter-connection user charge regime, which made all incoming calls across all networks free from May 1 this year.

Commenting on the performance, Sunil Mittal, chairman and group managing director of Bharti, said: "We are very encouraged by the price elasticity that we saw across all networks, be it on our mobile, fixed line or long distance networks.

"The increased usage on our networks as well as a very tightly-managed business has enabled us to sail confidently through these uncertain times," he said.

The cash profits had grown three times to Rs 226 crore (Rs 2.26 billion) for the quarter (April-June), the Bharti statement said.

The company claimed to have a subscriber base of 375,000 as on June 30, 2003, up from 161,000 in the year ago period.

Bharti's investments have crossed Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) mark at the end of the first quarter, it said adding the funded equity of the company as on March 31 this year was about Rs 5,175 crore (Rs 51.75 billion) while the net debt was Rs 3528 crore (Rs 35.28 billion).

Terming the performance during the quarter as "extremely satisfying", Mittal said, "We passed on enormous tariff benefits to our customers including incoming free on mobile services during the period under consideration."

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