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Vodafone Idea posts lowest quarterly revenue in more than two years

Vodafone Idea posts lowest quarterly revenue in more than two years

A hotel employee clears a table after Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular news conference in Mumbai, India Mar on 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

MUMBAI: Indian telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Saturday (Aug 14) reported its lowest quarterly revenue in more than two years and a wider than expected loss, as it continued to lose subscribers to rivals due to intensifying competition.

The company, a joint venture between Vodafone Group and India's Idea Cellular, said in a statement its revenue had declined on account of a slowdown in economic activity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Revenue for the quarter through June fell to 91.52 billion rupees from 106.59 billion a year earlier. Its subscriber base slipped to 255.4 million from 279.8 million a year earlier.

The quarterly loss 73.19 billion compares with an average forecast of a 65.01 billion rupee loss, according to Refinitiv data.

The results come after the company's billionaire non-executive chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, stepped down last week, fuelling concerns that the Indian wireless carrier may not survive a hefty bill it owes to the government.

Vodafone Idea owes roughly 500 billion rupees (US$6.7 billion) over the next 10 years for the use of the airwaves and in licence fees. The company has filed a review petition with India's Supreme Court after it refused to allowed any recalculation of those dues.

In its statement, the company said it "is currently in active discussion with potential investors" for fund raising.

The company's financials have been hit by a price war since 2016 when Reliance Industries launched its telecoms venture Jio Infocomm with free voice and cut-price data.

Vodafone Idea's stock has plummeted more than 40 per cent so far this year.

Rival Bharti Airtel posted a 15 per cent rise in first-quarter revenue last week, helped by higher data usage and subscriber additions.

Source: Reuters/zl

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