Bharti Airtel’s tower business unit Bharti Infratel on Thursday reported a 64 per cent jump in its consolidated net profit at Rs. 472 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, on the back of increased number of tenants on towers and other income.
The company, in which Bharti Airtel has around 80 per cent stake, had reported a net profit of Rs. 287 crore in the corresponding period last year.
The revenues of the company grew 4 per cent to Rs. 2,790 crore for the reported period as compared to Rs. 2,674 crore in the same period last year.
The company crossed the sharing factor of 2 at the end of the quarter. Sharing factor refers to the number of tenants (operators) who have put up their antennae and other active infrastructure on the towers.
Other income for the reported quarter was Rs. 144.5 crore or 5.2 per cent of the consolidated revenues, representing primarily income arising out of investments and profit on sale of assets.
For the fiscal 2013-14, the company reported a net profit of Rs. 1,518 crore as compared to Rs. 1,003 crore in the earlier fiscal while revenues were up by 5 per cent to Rs. 10,827 crore as compared to Rs. 10,272 crore in the review period.
“Operators have made large investments, primarily for data networks. We believe that faster roll-out of networks will happen over the coming years to monetise these investments,” Bharti Infratel Chairman Akhil Gupta told.
He said tower firms have started seeing big increase in the roll-out orders by the operators and “there is no doubt that this will accelerate further”.
Gupta said telecom industry globally is in a very interesting and promising phase on the back of exponential growth in data and as a result of this; operators are investing heavily in acquiring spectrum and aggressively rolling out networks.
“India is no different. While it can be argued that in terms of data proliferation, we are way behind the world.
“But data is growing fast in India and the proof of that is that between 2010 and 2013, various operators have invested almost Rs. 1,80,000 crore in spectrum, most of which will be used for rolling out data services under 3G and 4G,” he added.
The company, which had signed an agreement with Reliance Jio for infrastructure has started receiving the first few orders.
During the fiscal, Bharti Infratel’s capital expenditure stood at Rs. 1,526.8 crore and Gupta said for 2014-15, it can go up to Rs. 2,000 crore depending on the orders.
The company is also evaluating providing fibre optic back haul network to operators. Trials are also going on to provide wi-fi and in-building solutions.
The company’s total tower base at the end of Q4 stood at 83,368 with a sharing revenue of Rs. 67,942 per tower per month.