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Q2-09: Idea Cellular Profit Down 45% QoQ; VAS Revenues Up 15.5% To Rs. 233.11 Crores

Idea Cellular reported a 45.24 percent decline in net profits, down to Rs 144.1 crores, down from Rs 263.1 crores last quarter. The company has said that the reduction of Rs 119 crores in net profits is mainly attributable to EBITDA contraction of Rs 113.5 crores, and an increase in Depreciation & Amortization by Rs 28.3 crores. EBITDA margins declined to 26.3 percent, from 33.1 percent. During this quarter, revenues grew by 5.8 % over the quarter ended June 30, 2008, and stood at Rs 2303.7 crores.

The most significant development at Idea Cellular in quarter two last year, was the addition of a new circle of operation – they launched GSM services in Mumbai. This means that Idea Cellular operates in 12 of the 22 circles in India.

VAS Revenues & APRU
Monthly VAS Revenues for Idea Cellular increased significantly this quarter – to 9.8 percent of ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), up from 8.9 percent of ARPU last quarter. That takes the quarterly VAS revenues – including SMS revenues – to Rs. 233.11 crores. While VAS revenues are up 15.49% in percentage terms, the ARPU itself has declined by 6.11 percent to 261 from 278. We’re comparing numbers quarter on quarter, and not year-on-year because of the impact of the quarter-on-quarter growth in subscriber base that have an impact on revenues.

Minutes of Use
The Average Minutes of Use (MOU) declined to 417 minutes/user, down from 428 minutes last quarter. Remember that last quarter the minutes of use had shown a significant increase in usage.

Subscriber Addition And Churn
Idea Cellular added 3.186 million subscribers during the quarter, marginally down from 3.19 million additions last quarter. Interestingly, 96.8% of these were prepaid, which means that more post-paid subscribers were added in Q2. Historically, post-paid subscribers have contributed a higher APRU, so the pre-paid subs added have contributed even less ARPU.

Churn was more or less static: down 3.9 percent overall as compared to 4 percent last quarter; there was a decline in prepaid churn of 4 percent from 4.1 percent last quarter, while post-paid churn remained the same at 2.5 percent.

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