Despite incurring huge losses in the full fiscal and Q4, Idea Cellular isn’t ready to bow down. With an impending merger for which its already started the process of seeking regulatory approvals, the Birla company is ready to fight on and launch its 4G service in Mumbai at the end of this month.
“In spite of short term challenges, Idea remains committed to the process of building world class mobile broadband services. With the slated launch of Mumbai 4G services by end of May 2017, the company will be offering broadband services (3G and / or 4G) on its own spectrum across all 22 service areas”, said the company.
During this quarter, Idea launched its 4G services in 8 service areas of Gujarat, UPW, UPE, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and J&K, thus expanding its 4G broadband services to 19 telecom circles. The company also introduced 3G services during Q4FY17 in Bihar and Rajasthan service areas, expanding Idea’s 3G product offerings on its own spectrum to 15 service areas (besides offering 3G services in remaining service areas on 3G ICR, except Orissa), the company said.
The third largest operator said it had muted overall performance during 2016-17 . On the financial year basis, Idea, for the first time since its IPO, is reporting a revenue decline @1% at Rs. 355,757 million for FY17 (Rs. 359,494 million in FY16).
While the company remains optimistic on India growth story and continues to expand its scale of operations, this tumultuous phase subdued Idea’s EBITDA during the current financial year by 14.1% to Rs. 102,763 million (vs Rs. 119,675 million in FY16).
Further, last two years of high Investment in Spectrum and Equipment has increased the ‘Depreciation & Amortisation’ charge to Rs. 78,272 million and ‘Interest & Financing Cost (Net)’ to Rs. 37,341 million thereby Idea PAT is at a loss of Rs. 4,075 million in FY17 on standalone basis – first ever annual loss in last 11 years since its IPO during Year 2007.
The Net Debt as on March 31, 2017 stands at Rs. 500.7 billion, including a large component of debt from DoT under ‘Deferred Payment Obligation’ for Spectrum acquired in Auctions.
With adoption of ‘Ind AS’, the financials of Indus (Joint Venture) and ABIPBL (Associate) are consolidated at PAT level only.
Accordingly, the consolidated Total Comprehensive Income (including share from Indus & ABIPBL) stands at a loss of Rs. 4,040 million in FY17 against surplus of Rs. 27,142 million in FY16.