Mobile revenues in India during the quarter were impacted by two significant changes : i) TRAI guidelines around processing fees restricted the sales of “combo packs” which offered bundled service propositions to augment customer value. ii) The service tax hike from 10.3% to 12.36%, effective 1st April 2012, causing all telecom services to become dearer by nearly 2%, with the entire additional levy being passed through to the exchequer.
Africa revenues grew by 31.5%, driven by strong operational performance in the last year and favourable currency movements. However, economic and currency headwinds are presently evident in key markets, as a result of the eurozone crisis, lower aid and grants, rising inflation and political issues in some countries. With this in mind, the company intensified market operations, advertising, network rollouts, as well as new growth initiatives such as 3G, airtel money and Rwanda.
In a statement, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited, said: “Telecom revenues in India have been depressed due to hyper-competition and recent regulatory & tax developments. I am happy to note that, despite these adverse developments, Airtel has kept its focus on network expansion, market investments, superior customer experience and new product innovations. I am also pleased to see that India data pick-up is accelerating with over 38 million customers and mobile data revenues up 44%. On the African side, we are gaining market share, benefitting from the significant investments made in the last two years.”