Idea Cellular reports first-ever loss as telco price war rages | Reuters

By Sankalp Phartiyal | MUMBAI MUMBAI Idea Cellular Ltd, India's third-biggest telecommunications operator, reported its first quarterly loss after a new rival forced carriers to cut prices in the highly competitive market.Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, controlled by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, opened for business in September and has shaken the Indian telecoms market with its free voice and cut-price data plans spurring a flurry of similar offers from incumbents led by Bharti Airtel Ltd.That has increased costs, eroded margins and even forced Vodafone Group Plc's Indian unit to talk to Idea about combining their businesses, potentially creating the market's biggest carrier.Idea, part of the Aditya Birla Conglomerate, on Saturday said it had a consolidated net loss of 3.84 billion rupees ($57.47 million) in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec.

Reuters February 11, 2017 21:45:12 IST
Idea Cellular reports first-ever loss as telco price war rages
| Reuters

Idea Cellular reports firstever loss as telco price war rages
 Reuters

By Sankalp Phartiyal
| MUMBAI

MUMBAI Idea Cellular Ltd, India's third-biggest telecommunications operator, reported its first quarterly loss after a new rival forced carriers to cut prices in the highly competitive market.Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, controlled by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, opened for business in September and has shaken the Indian telecoms market with its free voice and cut-price data plans spurring a flurry of similar offers from incumbents led by Bharti Airtel Ltd.That has increased costs, eroded margins and even forced Vodafone Group Plc's Indian unit to talk to Idea about combining their businesses, potentially creating the market's biggest carrier.Idea, part of the Aditya Birla Conglomerate, on Saturday said it had a consolidated net loss of 3.84 billion rupees ($57.47 million) in its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a net profit of 6.59 billion a year earlier.

The loss was slightly bigger than analysts' expectations of 3.71 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data. The core telecom operations loss, without including its stake in a telecom tower joint venture, was even higher at 4.79 billion rupees on a standalone basis, Idea said, and was the first-ever quarterly loss since June 2006, Thomson Reuters data.Idea said in a statement it cut mobile voice rates by 10.6 percent and data prices by about 15 percent in the December quarter to retain its customers.

Revenue declined 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 86.63 billion rupees in the December quarter, while expenditure rose 10.3 percent to 84.63 billion, Idea said.Smaller rival Reliance Communications also reported on Saturday a consolidated net loss of 5.31 billion rupees for the third quarter ended December. It also blamed competition among other factors for the loss. bit.ly/2kwmGaa

Bharti Airtel, the top Indian telecommunication carrier, reported its lowest quarterly profit for four years last month, hit by the price war. ($1 = 66.8131 rupees) (Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Devidutta Tripathy and Louise Ireland)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.