Indebted telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Friday reported widening its consolidated loss to Rs. 7,230.9 crores for the third quarter ended December 2021.
The company had recorded a loss of Rs. 4,532.1 crores in the same period a year ago.
Consolidated revenue from operations decreased by 10.8% to Rs. 9,717.3 crore from Rs. 10,894.1 crore in the prior year period.
“We are pleased to report a second consecutive quarter of revenue growth thanks to several tariff interventions taken over the past few months. While the overall subscriber base has declined as a result of the tariff interventions, the 4G subscriber base remained resilient through a superior data and voice experience offered by Vi GIGAnet,” said VIL MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar in a statement.
Vodafone Idea’s subscriber base fell to 24.72 crore from 26.98 crore in the same quarter a year ago due to the company’s price hikes.
“In November 2021, we increased prepaid rates across all price points, including unlimited plans as well as handset vouchers, moving the entry-level prepaid plan to Rs. 99.
“As a result, ARPU improved to Rs. 115, up 5.2% on QoQ (quarter on quarter) from Rs. 109 in the second quarter (Q2) of financial year (FY) 2022. subscriber base decreased to 247.2 million from 253.0 million in the second quarter of FY22, due to these pricing interventions,” the statement said.
Despite the tariff hikes, the average revenue per user (ARPU) in the reported quarter declined by around 5% from the Rs. 121 it recorded in the same quarter of 2020-21.
The company further said that its 4G subscriber base continued to grow with 80 lakh customers added during the quarter. 4G base now stands at 11.7 crore.
VIL said it achieved around 90% annualized savings on a run rate basis by the end of the reported quarter against the target of Rs. 4,000 crores.
The total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including accrued but not due interest, as of December 31, 2021 stood at Rs. 1,98,980 crore.
This included spectrum deferred payment obligations of Rs. 1,11,300 crore, AGR liability of Rs. 64,620 crore which is owed to the government and debt of banks and financial institutions of Rs. 23,060 crore.
Cash and cash equivalents of the company were at Rs. 1,500 crore and net debt stood at Rs. 1,97,480 crore.
The debt-ridden company opted to pay interest of around Rs. 16,000 crore through preferred shares to the government. As a result, the government will hold 35.8% of the company’s capital.