Uninor witnessed EBITDA improvements and said that it was starting to see a positive churn trend in the quarter ended 31st december 2011. However, due to the Indian Supreme Court’s ruling that ordered the cancellation of all its licenses, the company recognised an impairment loss of NOK 4.1 billion in the quarter. This also lead to a decrease of NOK 2.1 billion compared to last year in its operating proﬁt due to impairment of goodwill and licences.
It said that the ruling severely penalizes Telenor for actions that took place before it entered India and that it will consider every option prior to any further investments.
It expects to achieve EBITDA breakeven in the first half of 2013 and has maintained peak funding of Rs 155 billion or Rs 15500 crore.
With a net subscriber growth of 4.1 million during the quarter ended 31st December 2011, the operator has 28.3 million subscribers in the Indian market. Uninor holds UAS licence to offer mobile services in the 22 telecom circles in India. It has rolled out in 21 circles and is commercially present in 13 circles.
Uninor reported revenues of NOK 936 million for the quarter ended December 31st 2011, a QoQ increase of 17%. The company’s revenue in the same quarter last year stood at NOK 400 million. It registered an EBITDA loss of NOK 582 million lower than previous quarter,also due to a positive effect of NOK 83 million from reversal of accruals related to energy costs and NOK 28 million from tower rentals. According to the company EBITDA improved % YoY from the fourth quarter of 2010 primarily due to increase in subscriber base and reduction in sales and marketing costs. Its operating loss was at NOK 4978 million.
Telenor expects that Uninor will contribute with an EBITDA loss around NOK 2.0 billion and capital expenditure, excluding licences and spectrum, around NOK 1.0 billion to the company.
Uninor had begun offering services in December 2009. Telenor owns 67.25% in Uninor, while the Unitech Group owns 32.75%. It’s accumulated operating cash flow loss is Rs 108 billion since entry.
ARPU & CAPEX
Uninor has added 4.1 million subscriptions, compared to 4.3 million in the last quarter and its total subscriber base is at 28.3 million. The company’s ARPU was Rs (12 NOK) for the quarter, almost stable compared to the last quarter. Total revenues increased by 17% compared to third quarter 2011 following growth in subscription base and increased average usage.
The Capital expenditure was NOK 270 million, related to the roll out of new sites in thirteen circles where Uninor has launched services.In addition investments were related to software upgrade of core and radio access network to cater for increase in the number of subscriptions
667 new sites were deployed in the last quarter. Uninor has a total of 27,972 sites in the country.
Funding & Case Initiated By Unitech
Telenor informs that the board of directors of Uninor have approved rising of funds through a rights offering of up to Rs 82.5 billion, which is now under process of being implemented. Unitech Ltd. has initiated arbitration proceedings in Singapore on this matter.
In a separate process, Unitech Ltd. has on 11 October 2011 initiated a process before the special judicial body Company Law Board (CLB) in India by filing a petition against Uninor, the Telenor-appointed directors on the Uninor board, Telenor Asia Pte Ltd. and Telenor ASA. In its petition, Unitech Ltd. is alleging that the respondents have oppressed the minority shareholders and mismanaged the business of Uninor. Telenor’s opinion is that there is no legal or factual basis to support the claims and allegations made by Unitech Ltd. in the arbitration and CLB proceedings
Full Year Guidance
For the full year (2012) Uninor expects to contribute an EBITDA loss around NOK 2 billion and capital expenditure in the range of NOK 1.0 billion, if business is usual.