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Vodafone Idea Q3 loss narrows to Rs 4,532 cr, to raise Rs 25,000 cr
Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea on Saturday reported narrowing of consolidated loss to Rs 4,532.1 crore in the third quarter ended on December 31, 2020, mainly on account of a one-time gain from stake sale in Indus Towers.
The company had posted a loss of Rs 6,438.8 crore in the same quarter a year ago.
Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) sold 11.15 per cent stake in Indus Towers on the completion of its merger with Bharti Infratel for Rs 3,760 crore and paid Rs 2,400 crore to the merged entity as per its agreement during the reported quarter.
''In the third quarter of the financial year 2021, we improved subscriber retention and operating performance, supported by Vi GIGAnet. We remain focused on executing our strategy, and our cost optimization plan remains on track to deliver the targeted savings,'' Vodafone Idea MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar said in a statement.
Revenue from operations of the company declined by 1.7 per cent to Rs 10,894 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 11,089.4 crore in the same quarter a year ago.
''The Board has approved fundraising to support our strategic intent and we are in active discussions with potential investors,'' Takkar said.
The VIL board approved raising up to Rs 25,000 crore through a mix of debt and equity.
VIL claimed that gross addition of the subscribers have been improved and percentage of customers leaving its network has come down to 2.3 per cent in the third quarter compared to 2.6 per cent churn in the previous quarter.
The subscriber base of the company, however, fell by about 11 per cent to 26.98 crores in the reported quarter from 30.4 crores on a year-on-year basis.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) of the company improved to Rs 121 from Rs 119 on a quarter on quarter basis, VIL said.
VIL said that it has been able to achieve operational synergies of around Rs 8,400 crore from the merger of Vodafone and Idea and is aiming to achieve an annualised cost saving of Rs 4,000 crore in 2021.
During the quarter, the company added around 12,000 mobile sites for 4G services primarily by deploying 4G technology in the spectrum that was in use for 2G and 3G services.
''Our overall broadband site count stood at 4,47,936 as of third quarter of FY'21, lower compared to 4,57,386 in second quarter of FY'21, as we have aggressively started to re-farm our 3G sites to 4G. Our 4G network covers over 1 billion Indians as of December 31, 2020,'' the company said.
The capital expenditure of VIL reduced to Rs 970 crore during the reported quarter from Rs 1,040 crore in the previous quarter.
The gross debt on the company was Rs 1,17,370 crore comprising deferred spectrum payment obligations to the government of Rs 94,200 crore and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 23,170 crore.