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MTNL losses narrowed to ₹634Cr in Q4FY17; Cellular segment losses at ₹140Cr

State-owned telecom operator MTNL has reported a net loss of Rs 634.8 crore for the quarter ended March 2017 (Q4-FY17). Losses dropped significantly from Rs 819.96 crore in the preceding quarter. In the same quarter last year, MTNL had made a profit of Rs 182.21 crore. The overall operational revenue of the company also increased marginally by 2.1% to Rs 705.17 crore in the quarter, from Rs 690.59 crore in the previous quarter. In the same quarter last year, MTNL posted overall revenues of Rs 813.45 crore.

Note that since Q1 FY15, only once has MTNL posted a profit of Rs 174.58 crore in Q4 FY16, which came from the company surrendering 800 MHz of CDMA spectrum for a total amount of Rs 428.95 crore.

Fixed Line and Broadband leads MTNL revenues

Revenues from Basic (Fixed line and Broadband) services continue to dominate MTNL’s revenues, with the segment reporting revenues of Rs 589.85 crore for the quarter, down 10.1% from Rs 656.67 crore in the same quarter last year, and down marginally from Rs 568.88 crore revenues in the previous quarter.

Basic services contributed 83.6% of MTNL’s overall income for the quarter, as compared to 82.3% contribution in the preceding quarter. The segment, however, posted a net loss (before tax) of Rs 296.31 crore for the quarter, which widened from Rs 225.65 crore loss in the same quarter last year. In the previous quarter, Basic Services segment posted losses of Rs 382.3 crore.

Cellular Services revenue

Revenues from Cellular services declined marginally to Rs 116.79 crore for the quarter, down 5.7% from Rs 123.45 crore in the previous quarter. Cellular services accounted for 16.5% of MTNL’s net revenue for the quarter, as compared to 21.6% in the same quarter last year. Note that most private telecom operators post a higher cellular services revenues over fixed services.

Cellular segment suffered a net loss (before tax) of Rs 140.19 crore for the quarter, compared to the loss of Rs 142.78 crore in the preceding quarter. In the same quarter last year, cellular service made a profit of Rs 184.26 Plans to sell assets to boost revenue

MTNL plans to monetize assets

In February, the Ministry of Communications informed the Lok Sabha that MTNL is “exploring the monetization of its assets which may contribute to its revenue”. The company had a total asset base of Rs 17,656.35 crore in Q4FY17. It was also looking to create a “managed service model (in partnership) with BSNL for its mobile network.” The telco is also in process of expanding its GSM/3G network in Delhi circle and plans to install 1800 new 3G sites, which will help handle additional mobile traffic. It is also upgrading its 3G network in Mumbai to HSPA+, which is an enhanced version of the 3G standard.

Download: Financials

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