Hot Pursuit     16-Aug-23
Vodafone Idea slips as net loss widens to Rs 7,840 crore in Q1
Vodafone Idea fell 1.49% to Rs 7.92 after the teleco reported a net loss of Rs 7,840 crore in Q1 FY24, which is significantly higher as compared with a loss of Rs 7,296.7 crore recorded in Q1 FY23.

The company's net loss is also higher as compared with loss of Rs 6,418.9 recorded in Q4 FY23.

Gross revenue rose by 2.4% YoY to Rs 10,655.5 crore in the first quarter. On a sequential basis, the revenue has increased by 1.2% aided by better subscriber mix and 4G subscriber additions.

On a reported basis, EBITDA for the quarter stood at Rs. 41.6 billion and EBITDA margins were at 39%. EBITDA excluding IndAS116 impact was at Rs. 20.2 billion compared to Rs. 20.7 billion in Q4 FY23, primarily due to higher network expenses and customer acquisition cost partially offset by the reduction in roaming and access charges.

Capex spend for the quarter stood at Rs. 450 crore.

The total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of 30 June 2023 stood at Rs 2,11,760 crore comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs. 1,33,740 crore and AGR liability of Rs. 66,860 crore that are due to the Government, debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs. 95 billion and optionally convertible debentures amounting to Rs. 1,660 crore.

With cash & cash equivalents of Rs. 250 crore, the net debt stood at Rs. 2,11,510 crore.

“We are in discussion with various network vendors for finalisation of our 5G rollout strategy. We have completed device testing of all major OEMs on our 5G network,” the company said in a statement.

It further announced that its 4G subscriber base continued to grow for the eighth consecutive quarter and stood at 122.9 as on 30 June 2023 as against 122.6 million in Q4 FY23. However, the overall subscriber base declined to 221.4 million from 225.9 million in Q4 FY23. ARPU improved to Rs. 139, up 2.9% QoQ as against Rs 135 in Q4 FY23 primarily aided by migration of subscribers to higher ARPU plans. We continue to see high data usage per broadband customer at approximately 15.7 GB per month with the total data traffic for the quarter witnessing QoQ growth of 3.5%.

Akshaya Moondra, CEO, Vodafone Idea, said "The eighth consecutive quarter of growth in average daily revenue, ARPU and 4G subscribers, clearly reflects our ability to effectively operate and compete in the market. Recently, we launched ‘Vi One', a converged offering bundling mobility, broadband & content under a single plan bringing convenience and value to the consumers; an industry first in prepaid space.

We remain engaged with our lenders for further debt fund raising as well as with other parties for equity or equity linked fund raising, to make required investments for network expansion, including 5G rollout."

Separately, Vodafone Idea announced that it has submitted a letter on August 14 to the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India (DoT) that it proposes to pay spectrum auction instalment of approximately Rs 1,680 crore, which is due on 17 August 2023 to DoT, by availing the grace period of 30 days with interest, in accordance with the terms of notice inviting applications (NIA) dated 15 June 2022 for auction of spectrum.

The company further informed that it has received a communication from a promoter group entity confirming that in the event of any fund requirement for meeting its impending payment obligations by the company, it shall provide direct or indirect financial support to the extent of Rs. 2,000 crore.

Vodafone Idea is an Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group partnership. It is amongst India's leading telecom service provider. The company provides pan India voice and data services across 2G, 3G and 4G platforms. The company holds large spectrum portfolio including mid band 5G spectrum in 17 circles and mmWave 5G spectrum in 16 circles.

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