Reliance Communications, India's fourth largest telco, saw its fourth quarter net profit plunge by 48.5% to Rs 156 crore, as compared to Rs 303 crore reported in the same period last year.
In the quarter, the company has fully repaid another syndicated ECB loan of $500 million on scheduled due date in January 2014. With this repayments, it has now fully liquidated the borrowings from 23 foreign banks and financial institutions.
In addition, it generated operational cash flow of Rs 1,852 crore in Q4, paid net finance charges of Rs 907 crore and invested Rs 467 crore on capex during the quarter.
A Thomson Reuters poll had pegged net profit at Rs 215 crore. On a quarterly basis, net profit stood was up 43.9% to Rs 156 crore, as compared to Rs 108 crore in Q3.
In comparison, on-year, Idea Cellular reported a 91% jump in Q4 net profit at Rs 589 crore, while Bharti Airtel reported an 89.1% jump in Q4 net profit to Rs 962 crore.
RCom's Q4 consolidated revenue stood at Rs 5,671 crore, up 5% from Rs 5,403 crore in Q3. On year, revenues were up 2.5% at Rs 22,321 crore from Rs 21,778 crore in FY'13. Q4 EBITDA stood at Rs 1,852 crore, as compared to Rs 1,845 crore qoq, with EBITDA margin of 32.7% amongst the highest in the industry.
RCom said its Q4 India operations revenue stood at Rs 4,649 crore, up 0.3% qoq from Rs 4,637 crore in Q3. Q4 India operations EBITDA stood at Rs 1,659 crore, up 3.2% qoq. On the global front, Q4 revenues came in at Rs 1,261 crore, up by 15.7% from Rs 1,090 crore in Q3, while its Q4 EBIDTA stood at Rs.193 crore, with EBITDA margin at 15.3%.
RCom saw its overall subscriber base grow to 120 million, with 2 million additions in Q4. The total data customer base has grown 3.3% q-o-q to 37.4 million, including 12.9 million 3G customers in Q4, up 16.2% qoq – with 34% mobile data users being 3G customers. In comparison, Idea Cellular's 3G subscriber base now stands at 10.2 million, while Airtel's stands at 10.9 million.
RCom's total data traffic up 20.5% Q-O-Q at 50,251 million MB, on account of increase in data subscribers and higher data usage per customer. GSM and Data now contribute 72% of wireless revenues versus 71.1% in 3Q FY14, up 90 bps q-o-q, expected to grow to 80% in the next 18-24 months, as per management.
In the quarter, RCom saw a 2.4% rise in average revenue per user (ARPU) at Rs 128, with total minutes of usage (MOUs) up by 0.4% Q-O-Q at 102.3 billion. The company said its revenue per minute (RPM) was stable at 43.2 paisa, while voice RPM stood at 33.0 paisa, on account of tariff hikes and strong focus on paid and profitable minutes.
The company remains free cash flow (FCF) positive. Net debt was down by 1.4% from Rs 40,761 crore in 3Q FY14 to Rs. 40,178 crore in 4Q FY14.