Bharti Airtel Q4 Results Review
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Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s Q4 FY23 consolidated operating profits at Rs 186.9 billion (up 16.6% YoY; up 1.3% QoQ), stood in-line with our estimates but a little below consensus estimates. India mobile average revenue per user stood at Rs 193 stood flat QoQ on account of fewer operating days in the quarter, despite revision in the pricing of entry level plan and net addition of 7.4 million 4G subscribers (versus 3.2 net add over-all).
Adjusted for fewer operating days ARPU stood at 195. Bharti Airtel’s 5G services are now live in 3500 census towns (out of ~7000) and the company is adding 35-40 towns daily with the target of covering the Urban and key rural areas by end of FY24.
5G users now form 33% of postpaid and 10% of overall subscriber base. However, the usage of 5G is still limited by lack of use cases. The capex in India mobile business stood at Rs 66.4 billion (+164% YoY; +4.2% QoQ) for Q4 and Rs 206.3 billion (+41% YoY) for the FY23.
Capex is likely to remain elevated in near term due to 5G roll out and Rural outreach.
While Bharti Airtel believe that current ARPU levels are suppressed and expects industry to take cooperative effort to address the same, but in the interim the company has decided to keep operating expense in check through ‘war on waste (wasteful expenditure)’ to maintain/improve operating margins.
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