Reliance Jio turns profitable at all levels, carries 4x data as Airtel

Reliance Jio, the latest entrant to the Indian telecom market, has reported a 451% growth in its profit before finance and tax costs and reported its first ever net profit of Rs 504 cr.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) jumped to Rs 1,436 cr in Oct-Dec from Rs 260 cr in the previous three months, due to two factors — higher revenue and lower outgo in terms of access or termination charges paid to other operators.

Two quarters ago (Apr-Jun), Jio had a loss of Rs 8 cr at the EBIT level.

This is in contrast to the performance of its rivals.

Against Jio’s EBIT of Rs 1,436 cr, Bharti Airtel reported an EBIT of just Rs 167 cr from its India mobile business.

Jio’s net profit of Rs 504 cr has come at a time when its competitors are grappling with losses. However, this was not unexpected.

Revenue, net of GST, rose 12% on quarter to 6,879 cr. Earlier today, Bharti Airtel said its India mobile services revenue fell 12% on quarter to Rs 10,751 cr.

Jio also said its subscriber numbers had reached 160.1 mln at the end of December, indicating that it added a whopping 8 mln users in December, higher than in any recent quarters.

It said it added a net of 21.5 million subscribers in the quarter, after adjusting for those who left the network. In the previous quarter, the number was 15.3 mln.

Average revenue, or ARPU of was at 154 per subscriber per month, compared to about Rs 123 per month for Airtel.

Total data on the network was 4.31 bln GB, four times as much as Bharti Airtel’s total wireless data traffic in India. Bharti had reported total data of around 1,100 bln GB for the same period.

Average data consumption was at 9.6 GB per head per month and average voice consumption of 694 minutes per user per month.

Total voice minutes for Jio was at 311.13 bln during the quarter, compared to 494.55 bln minutes for Bharti Airtel.

Jio’s network operating expenses increased to Rs 1,737 cr from Rs 1,372 cr in the previous three months. Bharti Airtel had network operating costs of Rs 3,640 cr for its India business, including the wired broadband operation.

Termination charges paid to other operators halved to Rs 1,081 cr from Rs 2,140 cr in three months.

Finance costs were stable at Rs 664 cr versus 673 cr. Depreciation expenses were at Rs 1,193 cr versus Rs 1,183 cr.

JIo paid taxes of about Rs 267 cr.