Telenor India’s September quarter operating loss widens to Rs 287 crore

New Delhi: Norwegian mobile operator Telenor on Wednesday reported widening of operating loss at its Indian unit at 373 million Norwegian krone (about Rs 286.21 crore) for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.

The company had reported an operating loss of 195 million Norwegian krone (about Rs 149.26 crore) in the same period last year, Telenor said in a statement.

Total revenues of the company though increased to 1,411 million Norwegian krone (1,080 crore) as compared to 1074 million krone (Rs 822.16 crore) last year.

The company added 1 million subscriptions during the quarter. Telenor provides services in six telecom circles in the country. The average revenue per user (ARPU) fell by 12% to Rs 91 in the period compared to same quarter last year.

“The decline was primarily driven by lower voice consumption and the impact from reduced mobile interconnect rate, partly compensated by increased data usage. The reduced interconnect rate impacted ARPU negatively by Rs 4,” Telenor said.

It further said growth in subscriptions and the decline in ARPU resulted in a revenue growth in local currency of 7%.

The company had on September 23, 2015, changed its name to Telenor India from Uninor. The re-branding related cost resulted in the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the full quarter turning negative.

However, it said excluding the one-offs, Telenor continues to report second quarter of positive EBITDA.

“As a result of the accelerated depreciation and write-downs of network inventories of NOK 184 million as well as costs related to the re-branding of the operation, the operating profit developed negatively compared to the same quarter last year,” the company said.

Telenor India CEO Vivek Sood said post the brand name change, the company has reinforced its strategy of being most affordable brand. “The free life insurance offering is a step towards expanding security net to mass market,” Sood said.

The company said during the quarter, a project to modernise the network was initiated and this impacted the capex for the quarter, as well as accelerated depreciations of current network assets.

“This is expected to continue over the next 12-18 months,” the company added.