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Uninor ARPU flat at Rs 106 for Q1 2014; Revenues up 30% YoY

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Telenor group has reported a total ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) of Rs 106 for India region, flat from Rs 106 in the previous quarter but up 13% from Rs 94 in the same quarter last year.

The telco attributes this increase to an uptake in its data usage & services, although it hasn’t disclosed any specific numbers on data usage. It also mentions that the improved quality of Uninor’s connection base contributed to the increase in ARPU.

Highlights

Total connection base: Telenor reported a total connection base of 30.5 million across six telecom circles Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West for the quarter. In comparison, Telenor had a connection base of 28 million in the previous quarter.

Net Additions: Telenor witnessed 2.5 million net additions for the quarter, as compared to 2 million net additions in the previous quarter.

Average Minutes Per User increased to 463 minutes for the quarter, up 4.75% from 442 minutes in the previous quarter and a 15.5% growth from 401 minutes in the same quarter last year.

Uninor AMPU

– Monthly Churn rate has declined to 4% from 4.5% in the previous quarter.

– Telenor mentions that the revenue in local currencies in six operational circles increased by 44% year-on-year due to increased ARPU and a larger subscriber base. The gross margins in these circles was up 3 percentage points to 64%.

– Telenor has also initiated its site re-deployment program announced in the previous quarter and by the end of the quarter, 1,036 new base stations have been deployed. In the previous quarter, Telenor had stated plans of re-deploying 5,000 sites from closed down circles for geographical expansion in existing six circles over a five months period.

– During the quarter, Uninor had also launched a new Internet strategy, focusing on affordable and service-based mobile Internet offers. As part of this new strategy, Uninor had announced plans to offer Facebook at Rs 0.5 per hour and Rs. 1 for a day of WhatsApp.

2G Auctions: In the February 2014 auctions, Uninor had acquired 13.4 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band for Rs 844.72 crore. This includes 6MHz spectrum in a new circle of Assam and additional spectrum in four of its six existing circles in the 1800 MHz band – UP East, UP West, Bihar & Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. Uninor had informed that this additional spectrum will enable them to improve its voice and data capacity by around 20% to 25% in these four circles.

Telenor mentions that it has paid 33% of amount in February (i.e. around 278.8 crore) and the remaining amount including interest will be paid in ten annual instalments, starting February 2017.

Financials

Telenor group has reported total India revenues of NOK 919 million (around Rs 931.9 crore as per current rates) for the quarter, registering a 9.9% increase from NOK 836 million in the previous quarter and a 29.8% growth from NOK 708 million in the same quarter last year. Telenor mentions that its Indian operations reported an organic revenue growth of 44% for the quarter.

Uninor Revenues

The telco however reported an operating profit of NOK 1.53 billion for the quarter, due to an license fee offset of NOK 1.7 billion (Rs 1,658 crore) against the pending instalments for the spectrum acquired in November 2012 auctions. Without this, Uninor would’ve reported an operating loss of around NOK 169 million (around Rs 171.4 crore), up from NOK 132 million in the previous quarter but an improvement from NOK 194 million in the same quarter last year.

The EBITDA loss however declined to NOK 83 million (around Rs 84.2 crore), from NOK 107 million loss in the previous quarter and NOK 185 million in the same quarter last year.

Bank Guarantees: As of March 31, 2014, Telenor ASA has issued bank guarantees worth NOK 2.1 billion (around Rs 2,129.6 crore), of which NOK 1.2 billion (Rs 1,219.1 crore) relates to interest-bearing debt and NOK 0.9 billion (Rs 912.7 crore) relates to guarantees issued to India’s Department of Telecom (DoT).

DownloadPress release | Quarterly report | Spreadsheet | Presentation

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