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Bharti profit run persists

New Delhi, Oct. 23: Bharti Tele-Ventures has hit the profit trail by reporting a net profit of Rs 93 crore in the second quarter ended September 30 against a loss of Rs 129 crore in the year-ago period.

On a sequential basis, net profit rose 201 per cent from the level of Rs 31 crore in the first quarter of this financial year ended June 30.

Total revenues in the second quarter rose 74 per cent at Rs 1,114 crore from Rs 658 crore in the quarter ended September 30 last year.

The net profit margin has risen from 3 per cent in the first quarter to 8 per cent in the second quarter of the current financial year.

The Bharti stock closed at Rs 75.80 on the National Stock Exchange today, up 7.2 per cent over the previous trading session.

“The performance during the quarter has further strengthened our position in the industry. The strong improvement in profits during the quarter illustrates the benefits of scale and size that Bharti now possesses,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director of Bharti Tele-Ventures, which is the holding company for all the telecom operations within the group and the only one listed on the bourses.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) more than trebled at Rs 377 crore against Rs 121 crore in the year-ago period while cash profit zoomed almost seven times at Rs 306 crore (Rs 44 crore).

The company pointed out that this was due to the growth in revenue of 74 per cent, on a year on year basis, while corresponding operating expenses increased by 13 per cent from Rs 349 crore to Rs 393 crore.

“Bharti Tele-Ventures’ operating efficiencies have lead to an improvement in EBITDA margin for the quarter to 33 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for the corresponding period last year,” Mittal said.

The company also announced that each of the nine new mobile operations (Punjab, Uttar Pradesh West, Haryana, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh) have turned EBITDA positive.

Fixed line investments have also started showing positive returns.

For the half year ended September 2003, the company registered revenues of Rs 2,181 crore, an increase of 82 per cent over the same period last year. EBITDA improved by 157 per cent on a year on year basis at Rs 665 crore for the half year ended September 30,2003.

The company registered a net profit of Rs 124 crore during the second quarter of fiscal 2004 compared with a loss of Rs 197 crore for same period last year.

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