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Bharti Airtel shares hit one-year high despite 76 pc drop in Q2 earnings

The rally was spurred by Bharti Airtel's performance in the Africa market with operating profit margins improving over 9 per cent.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Published on: November 01, 2017 14:27 IST ]
Airtel's total revenue from operations in 17 countries
Airtel's total revenue from operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa fell 11.7 per cent to Rs. 21,777 crore during the quarter under review.Photo:PTI

Shares of Bharti Airtel on Wednesday surged 9.5 per cent even as the company posted sixth straight quarter of drop in earnings as its consolidated net profit plunged 76.5 per cent for the September quarter. After making a positive opening, shares of the company further jumped 9.41 per cent to Rs. 544.50 - its 52-week high - on BSE. At NSE, shares of the company gained 9.49 per cent to touch its one-year peak of Rs. 544.40.

The stock was the biggest gainer among the bluechips on both the key indices during the morning trade.

India's largest telecom company Bharti Airtel on Tuesday posted sixth straight quarter of drop in earnings as its consolidated net profit plunged 76.5 per cent to Rs. 343 crore for the September quarter, hit by the price war triggered by newcomer Reliance Jio.

Airtel has warned that financial stress in the industry "continues" and will be "further accentuated" by cut in call connect charges in the next quarter (October-December).

The September quarter profit is the lowest since January-March 2013 for Bharti Airtel which like other established telcos has been engaged in a fierce tariff war with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, to wrest control of the market.

The total revenue of Airtel - which has operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa - fell 11.7 per cent to Rs. 21,777 crore during the quarter under review from Rs. 24,651.50 crore in the year-ago period.

The net profit was 6.5 per cent lower compared to Rs. 367 crore in the June quarter, but a whopping 76.5 per cent down over Rs. 1,461 crore logged in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

The Africa market fared better with revenue rising 2.8 per cent on an underlying basis, while the operating profit margins improved over 9 per cent year-on-year buoyed by "continuous cost control initiatives".

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