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MTNL’s losses widen to Rs 832 Cr in Q3FY19; seeks Rs 500 Cr from DoT

State-owned telecom operator MTNL continued to post losses reporting Rs 832.26 crore, up from Rs 859.05 crore in the preceding quarter, and up 30% year-on-year from Rs 639 crore in Q3FY18.

The company’s total income dropped 18.7% year-on-year to Rs 692.42 crore, from Rs 852.64 in Q3FY18. Over the preceding quarter, income increased slightly from Rs 621.26 crore.

Segment Revenues

Basic (Fixed line and Broadband) revenue stood at Rs 406.92 crore, reporting a fall of 21.6% year-on-year from Rs 519.69 in Q3FY18. Basic revenue increased slightly over the last quarter when it was Rs 388.09 crore. Losses from the segment widened by 75% year-on-year to Rs 264.39 crore from Rs 150.98 crore in Q3FY18. Last quarter, losses reported stood at Rs 289.33 crore.

Losses from the Cellular business segment fell slightly year-on-year by 12% to Rs 147.85 crore. Losses stood at Rs 168.06 crore a year ago in Q3FY18, and at Rs 157.20 crore last quarter.

MTNL net worth fully eroded in Q3FY19

The company’s net worth has been fully eroded, noted the auditor’s note in the earnings call. MTNL incurred net cash losses in this quarter, and in the 9 months of FY18-19 up 31 December 2018. Moreover, its current liabilities exceed its current assets “substantially”. The Department of  Public Enterprises has classified the company as an “Incipient Sick CPSE”, which has been further confirmed by the Department of Telecom.

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Earlier this week, MTNL approached the DoT to seek claims of Rs 500 crore including for providing services and payments of employees salaries. The claims date back to 2000-01 onward, and also pertain to retirement packages for employees, telecom facilities provided by DoT, and lease of MTNL’s buildings to the DoT, among others.

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