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Telenor India reports Rs 50Cr profit in Q1 2017 after sale to Airtel

Norwegian telco Telenor has reported an operating profit of 68 million Norwegian Krone-NOK (~Rs 50 crore) for its India unit during the quarter ended March 2017 (Q1 2017), as it exits the highly competitive Indian market with its sale to Bharti Airtel. In the previous quarter, Telenor India reported a loss of NOK 45 million and also lost more than 650K subscribers. It also lost around 185,000 subscribers in Q3 2016 after the launch Reliance Jio.

The telco has not provided subscription data and usage metrics for its India operations in the current financial quarter since the company mentioned that Telenor India is now classified as “held for sale” and “discontinued”. In the previous quarter, the telco had 44.03 million subscribers. The company signed a definitive agreement with Airtel in February for selling its Indian unit for a reported $350 million. The deal is still pending regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the next 12 months

Telenor India’s overall revenue growth was flattish at NOK 1.308 billion during Q1 2017, compared to NOK 1.417 billion in the previous quarter. Overall revenue also decreased by 13.8%from NOK 1.519 billion in the same quarter last year. The company said that its profit after tax was impacted positively during the quarter due to its sale agreement to Airtel.

As part of Telenor’s agreement with Airtel will take over all outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease. The proposed acquisition will also transfer all of Telenor India’s assets, licenses, and customer base of 44 million into Airtel. As of Q1 2017, Telenor India’s liabilities held for sale was at NOK 3.876 billion while assets held for sale stood at NOK 1.104 billion.

Other Financials

-EBITDA stood at NOK 76 million in Q1 2017, up from a negative EBITDA of NOK 496 million in Q1 2016.
-Profit before tax stood at NOK 120 million during the quarter, up from a loss of NOK 3.149 billion in Q1 2016.
-During the financial year 2016, Telenor India’s losses were at NOK 7.237 billion.

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