Vi narrows losses in Q4FY23, records first annual revenue growth since 2018

New Delhi: Vodafone Idea narrowed losses to 6418 crore for the quarter ended March 2023, versus 6563 crore in the same quarter last year and compared to 7990 crore in the previous quarter. The loss-making carrier said that it was in talks with lenders for additional debt funding and with external investors for equity or equity linked fund raising.

The No 3 carrier improved quarterly revenues and recorded growth in annual revenues for the first time since merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular in 2018, it said in a statement. Annual revenue was up 9.5% to 42180 crore from 38520 crore in FY22, on the back of tariff hikes, improving subscriber mix and 4G subscriber additions of 4.6 million during the year.

For the quarter, 4G subscriber base increased marginally to 122.6 million compared to 121.6 million in Q3FY23. Revenue for the quarter at 10,531 crore was up on-year from 10239 crore, but down sequentially from 10620 crore.

Average revenue per user, a key metric of profitability, was up 9.3% to to Rs. 135 versus Rs. 124 in Q4FY22 primarily aided by migration of subscribers to higher ARPU plans.

Akshaya Moondra, CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said that annual revenue growth was recorded for the first time post–merger on the back of consistently improving performance for last several quarters.

“We continue to 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,” he said.

Further, we are in discussion with various network vendors for finalisation of our 5G rollout strategy, the company said.

EBITDA for the quarter at 4210 crore was down on-year from 4694 crore, but up sequentially from 4180 crore. EBITDA margins showed similar trend, with Q4FY23 at 40% versus Q$FY22 at 45.4% and Q3FY23 at 39.4%. Annual EBITDA increased from 66800 crore to 8300 crore registering strong growth of 24.1%; EBITDA margin was at 19.7%, highest post-merger, the company said.

Capex spend for the quarter stood at 560 crore, taking the capex spend for FY23 to 3360 crore.

The telcos total debt as of Mar 31, 2023 stood at 2.09 trillion, down from 2.23 trillion as of Dec 31, 2022 due to conversion of debt representing net present value of interest arising due to deferment of spectrum instalments and adjusted gross revenue dues into equity issued to the government of India.

The debt comprise deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1.3 trillion and and AGR liability of 65,550 crore that are due to the government, debt from banks and financial institutions of 11390 crore and optionally convertible debentures amounting to 16100 crore.

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