Vodafone loss widens to Rs 25,460 crore
Vodafone Idea, the country’s third-largest telecom operator, on Thursday reported a sharp rise in its losses to Rs 25,460 crore for the April-June quarter of 2020-21 because of the high provisioning for statutory dues.
The losses stood at Rs 4,874 crore in the year-ago period.
Revenue from operations came in at Rs 10,659.3 crore for the first quarter of 2020-21 against Rs 11,269.9 crore in the same period of the previous year, according to a regulatory filing.
Net loss against exceptional items stood at Rs 5,537 crore.
The company said it has recognised an additional charge of Rs 19,440.5 crore in the June quarter towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liabilities.
“During this quarter, on prudence, we have recognised a charge of Rs 194.4 billion as an exceptional item towards the total estimated AGR liability, in addition to estimated recognised liability of Rs 460.0 billion as on March 31, 2020,” a company statement said.
Gross debt (excluding lease liabilities) stands at Rs 1,18,940 crore, including deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 92,270 crore due to the government. Cash and cash equivalents were Rs 3,450 crore and net debt stood at Rs 1,15,500 crore against Rs 1,12,520 crore in the fourth quarter of 2019-20, the operator said.
The company said the first-quarter numbers were impacted by the nationwide lockdown because of coronavirus.
Ravinder Takkar, MD and CEO of Vodafone Idea, said, “Q1FY21 was challenging as availability of recharges because of store closures and ability of customers to recharge on account of the economic slowdown were impacted.”
“We have launched a cost optimisation initiative that will drive further cost-savings. We also continue to actively engage with the government seeking a comprehensive relief package for the industry, which faces critical challenges,” he added.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) declined to Rs 114 in the April-June quarter from Rs 121 in the January-March quarter. Rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have reported good traction from tariff hikes introduced in the third quarter of 2019-20. Bharti’s ARPU has increased 22.7 per cent since the second quarter of 2019-20, while Jio’s ARPU is up 16.9 per cent.