spice-logo2This just in: Idea Cellular owned telecom operator Spice Communications has reported a net loss of Rs. 206.7 million for the quarter ending March 31st 2009. While this is much lower than the Rs. 7.4 billion loss the company had reported last quarter, do remember that the company had accounted for an impairment provision for license fees paid for Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Note that Spice’s financial year ends on December 31st.

spicesnapshot

Details: Financials | Notes | Release | Call (Apr 24, 2:30pm)

A year on year comparison might be more relevant in this case, though we prefer a quarter on quarter comparison for Telecom since the increase in subscriber base and revenue has been staggering over the past few years.
q109-spicecom-revenue-vs-profit

If we compare year on year, net loss has declined by 43.37% from Rs. 365 million to Rs. 206.7 million, while net sales has increased by 8.169 percent. What’s heartening for Spice is the reduction in network operating costs – down 17 percent from Rs. 1568 million last quarter to 1297.22 this quarter. License fees paid out has also reduced from Rs. 353.21 to Rs. 332.70. That may be due to a decline in Spice’s subscriber base – last quarter, they reported a subscriber base of 3.8 million subscribers, down from 4.5 million at the end of June 2008.

We’ll update this report with an analysis of Spice’s performance indicators, which are likely to be announced along with the Idea Cellular financial results on April 23th, and inputs from their earnings conference call on April 24th.