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Idea Cellular Adds 4.5M Data Connections In Q4-FY13; Mobile VAS Declines

The addition of 4.5 million data connections in the quarter – the highest data adoption by Idea customers in a quarter – as well as an improvement in average revenue per data MB to Rs 0.339 per MB and the expansion of data volume to 11.4 billion MB led to Idea Cellular increasing its Data ARPU to Rs 55 from Rs 52 per data connection. The company now has 26.2 million data connections, contributing 6.6% to service revenue. The data on data for Idea Cellular at the end of Q4-FY13:

– 4.5 million data customers added in Q4-FY13
– 26.2 million total data customers (2G+3G), up from 21.57 million at the end of last quarter
– Data now contributes 6.6% to service revenue, up from 5.7% last quarter
– 11.4 billion MB in data volume, up 13.8% quarter on quarter from 10.0 billion MB in Q3-FY13
– 163 mb per data connection, down from 167 mb per data connection last quarter. This could be a function of the growth in data connection base, since the total data volume has increased.
Data realised rate up by 9.5% to Rs 0.339 per MB in Q4FY13, up from Rs 0.31 per MB in Q3-FY13
– 5.1 million active 3G subscribers, up from 4.1 million last quarter
Data revenue up 24.6% quarter on quarter
– Rs 55 Data ARPU, up from Rs 52

During the quarter, Idea added 1,595 3G sites, expanded optical fibre network to 74,000 km, and added 2,432 GSM sites. It now has 17,140 3G cell sites and 90,094 2G cell sites.

Mobile VAS Declines

It what has been a worrying trend for Mobile VAS, it declined to 8.6% of total service revenue, in line with the decline to 8.9% of service revenue the quarter before. The decline in VAS is being more than compensated by the increase in data, since the total contribution of non-voice (Data + VAS) increased to 15.2% of service revenue from 14.6% last quarter.

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At the end of the first quarter of the FY13 fiscal, data was 4.5% of service revenue while VAS was 10%. Now data is 6.6% of service revenue, while VAS is 8.6%.

Operational Parameters

Connection base grew to 121.6 million, up from 113.9 million. This is a reversal of a trend for Idea Cellular, that had indicated a declining connection base in the previous two quarters.
Average Realised Rate per Minute (ARPM) improved marginally to Rs 0.412 from 0.411
Average minutes of use increased significantly to 406 per connection, up from 384 the previous quarter, and 359 the quarter before.
Prepaid subscribers: 96.1% of total subscriber base, same as the last quarter.
Churn: 4.3% blended churn, down from 6.9%. Prepaid churn was 4.4% down from 7%; postpaid churn was 2.9%, down from 3.2%
Minutes of Use: The total number of minutes on network increased to 143.366 billion, up from 132.181 billion, and 125.6 billion the quarter before.
Idea’s Active Connection base went up by 8.3 million up from 2.9 million additions the previous quarter
MNP: Idea claims a net gain of 6.7 million connections so far, via MNP (i.e. porting in minus porting out, till April 14, 2013)

Financial Results

The company reported standalone revenue of Rs. 6095.1 crore, up YoY from Rs 5403.5 crore. The standalone EBITDA was at Rs 1503.7 crore, up from Rs 1207 crore the same quarter last year. The EBITDA margin improved to 24.7%, compared with 22.3% for the same quarter last year, and 23.5% last quarter. This is despite “inspite of accounting for one-off regulatory charge of Rs. 760 million reflecting in ‘License and WPC Charges’”.

The PAT was at Rs 267 crore, up from 201.6 crore for the same quarter last fiscal, and Rs 191 crore last quarter. The annual PAT improved by 67% to Rs. 1008 crore in FY13 against Rs. 603.6  crore in FY12.

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Its cash profit was Rs 1306.7 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 1013.5 crore for the same quarter last fiscal. Cash Profit for FY13 was Rs 4696.8 crore in FY13, up 30.2% over FY12.

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