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Uninor ARPU Up To Rs 100 For Q3 2013; Losses Up 33.6% QoQ

In the quarter where Uninor broke even in five of its six operational circles, Telenor Group reported an increase in ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for India region to Rs 100, for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, up from Rs 97 in the previous quarter and Rs 89 in the same quarter last year.

Highlights

– Total Subscriber Base: Telenor has a total subscriber base of 26 million across six telecom circles in the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West. In comparison, Telenor had a subscriber base of 24.5 million in the previous quarter and a comparable six circle subscription base of 23.6 million in the same quarter last year (Q3 2012). Telenor had closed down its operations in seven of thirteen operational telecom circles in 2012 and in Q1 2013.

– Net Additions: Telenor saw 1.5 million additions during the quarter. The company also reported a 10% reduction in the acquisition cost for each new subscriber.

– Average Minutes Per User increased to 434 minutes for the quarter, up from 426 minutes in the previous quarter but down from 496 minutes in Q3 2012.

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Uninor Q3 2013 ARPU

– Churn rate: The monthly churn rate declined to 5%, from 6% in the previous quarter.

– Revenue: Telenor noted that the revenue in local currencies in six operational circles increased by 23% year-on-year and the gross margins in these circles is 3 percentage points higher than the same quarter last year.

New Sites: Uninor added 870 new sites during the quarter to apparently accommodate for continued revenue growth.

On Uninor Transfer & Unified License situation: Telenor reiterated that the Indian government is yet to provide the requisite approvals to carry out the business transfer from Uninor to Telewings, even though it has fulfilled its part of the requisite conditions for continued operations in India.

It added that the government has also not issued unified licenses to the company yet, which will allow them to make use of the spectrum secured by Telewings in the November 2012 auction. Sistema had received its unified license earlier this month, becoming the first telco to receive unified license. Following this, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm had also received unified licenses.

As a result, Telenor is currently operating its business under the old spectrum through Uninor as an interim measure, until the business is transferred to Telewings.

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Financials

Telenor group has reported total India revenues of NOK 729 million (around Rs 756.9 crore) for the quarter, registering a minor increase from NOK 728 million (Rs 734.9 crore) in the previous quarter but a 15.6% decline from NOK 863 million (Rs 804 crore) in the same quarter last year.

It posted increased operating loss of NOK 143 million (Rs 148.5 crore) for the quarter, up 33.6% from NOK 107 million (Rs 108 crore) loss in the previous quarter but a significant improvement from NOK 536 million (Rs 526 crore) loss in the same quarter last year. The EBITDA loss was at NOK 140 million (Rs 145.4 crore) for the quarter, an improvement from NOK 153 million (Rs 154.4 crore) loss sequentially and a significant improvement from NOK 408 million (Rs 381 crore) loss in the same quarter last year.

Telenor India Revenues

Bank Guarantee To DoT: As of September 30, 2013, Telenor ASA has issued bank guarantees worth NOK 2.6 billion (Rs 2,624.5 crore), of which NOK 1.1 billion (Rs 1,142.1 crore) has been issued to India’s Department of Telecom (DoT) and NOK 1.5 billion (Rs 1,557.4 crore) relates to interest-bearing debt.

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