Idea Cellular Ltd today posted a net loss for the third time in succession, with both voice and data services down by a brutal price war unleashed by Reliance Jio Infocomm at Rs 815 crore.
The Kumar Mangalam Birla-led company’s net loss more than doubled from the last quarter to Rs 815 crore (v/s Rs 3,25.6 crore in Q4FY17), according to a company statement.
Revenue, however rose 0.5 percent on a sequential basis to Rs 8,167 crore. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) decreased 12 per cent sequentially to Rs 1,875 crore while the EBITDA margin contracted by 300 basis points to 23 percent led by rising costs due to higher network expenses, and increased subscriber acquisition and servicing cost.
The company’s finance costs rose 16 percent to Rs 1,169 crore on a year-on-year basis. Net debt rose 8 percent to Rs 53,920 crore in the first quarter.
In the environment of steep rate fall and capacity expansion, EBITDA for the company during the quarter declined
by 11.5% to Rs. 18,753 million compared to Rs. 21,199 million in Q4FY17, largely due to higher operating cost related
to Roaming and Access (as outgoing minutes increased) and Network expenses. The EBITDA margin for the quarter declined from 26.1% in Q4FY17 to 23% in Q1FY18, the company said while reporting its ‘subdued’ financial performance.