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Telenor India reports Rs 9Cr operating profit in Q2 2017 after sale to Airtel

Norwegian telco Telenor has reported an operating profit of 12 million Norwegian Krone-NOK (~Rs 9 crore) for its India unit during the quarter ended June 2017 (Q2 2017), as its exits the Indian market with its sale to Bharti Airtel. The company expects to complete the sale within 12 months; the deal is pending approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the DoT. Telenor India had earlier mentioned that it was evaluating options in India after industry turned competitive. It also skipped 2016 spectrum auctions stating that the reserve prices did not give “an acceptable level of return.”

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 (Q1 217), Telenor India reported an operating profit of 68 million (~Rs 50 crore) and a 44.03 million subscriber base.  It had lost more than 650K subscribers in Q4 2016 and around 185,000 subscribers in Q3 2016 after the launch Reliance Jio.

Telenor India’s overall revenue growth was flattish at NOK 1.267 billion during Q1 2017, compared to NOK 1.308 billion in the previous quarter.  Overall revenue also decreased by 22.4% from NOK 1.551 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, Airtel will take over all outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease belonging to Telenor. The proposed acquisition will also transfer all of Telenor India’s assets, licenses, and customer base of 44 million into Airtel. As of Q2 2017, Telenor India’s liabilities held for sale was at NOK 3.842 billion while assets held for sale stood at NOK 1.018 billion.

Other Financials

-EBITDA stood at NOK 14 million in Q1 2017, down from a positive EBITDA of NOK 76 million in the previous quarter.
-Loss before tax stood at NOK 45 million during the quarter, compared to profit before tax of NOK 120 million in the previous quarter.
-During the financial year 2016, Telenor India’s losses were at NOK 7.572 billion.

Download: Telenor Q2-2017 Results

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