Debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Friday reported widening of its consolidated loss to Rs. 7,230.9 crore for the third quarter ended December 2021.
The company had posted a loss Rs. 4,532.1 crore in the same period a year ago.
Consolidated revenue from operations declined by 10.8 per cent to Rs. 9,717.3 crore from Rs. 10,894.1 crore in the year-ago period.
"We are pleased to announce second consecutive quarter of revenue growth driven by several tariff interventions taken in the last few months. While the overall subscriber base has declined as a result of the tariff interventions, the 4G subscriber base remained resilient on the back of superior data and voice experience offered by Vi GIGAnet," VIL MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar said in a statement.
Vodafone Idea's subscriber base declined to 24.72 crore from 26.98 crore in the same quarter a year ago because of tariff hikes by the company.
"In November 2021, we increased the prepaid tariffs across all price points including unlimited plans as well as combo vouchers, moving the entry-level prepaid plan to Rs. 99.
"Resultantly, ARPU improved to Rs. 115, up 5.2 per cent on QoQ (quarter on quarter) versus Rs. 109 in the second quarter (Q2) of financial year (FY) 2022. The subscriber base declined to 247.2 million vs 253.0 million in Q2, FY'22, because of these tariff interventions," the statement said.
Despite tariff hikes, average revenue per user (ARPU) during the reported quarter declined by about 5 per cent compared to Rs. 121 it recorded in the same quarter of 2020-21.
The company further said its 4G subscriber base continued to grow with 80 lakh customers added during the quarter. The 4G base now stands at 11.7 crore.
VIL said it has achieved around 90 per cent annualised savings on a run-rate basis by the end of the reported quarter against the target of Rs. 4,000 crore.
Total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, as of December 31, 2021 stood at Rs. 1,98,980 crore.
This comprised deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs. 1,11,300 crore, AGR liability of Rs. 64,620 crore that are due to the government and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs. 23,060 crore.
The company's cash and cash equivalents were at Rs. 1,500 crore and net debt stood at Rs. 1,97,480 crore.
The debt-ridden company has opted to pay interest of around Rs. 16,000 crore through preferential shares to the government. This will result in the government holding 35.8 per cent stake in the company.