Tata Tele Maharashtra pre-tax losses narrow as depreciation falls

Tata Teleservices Maharashtra, the listed arm of Tata Teleservices that provides telecom services in Maharashtra and Goa, reported better pretax profit margins for the December quarter thanks to lower depreciation charges.

Pretax losses narrowed to Rs 385 cr in Q3 from Rs 392 cr in the Q2 and Rs 489 in the year-ago period.

Depreciation charges — used to account for the loss of value of its equipment, spectrum and other assets — fell to just Rs 58 cr from Rs 215 cr during the preceding three months.

The exact reason for the fall was not clear, but it may have had to do either the huge write-off of 7,708 cr during the September quarter, or to the deal to sell its loss-making mobile business to Bharti Airtel.

The company, which had revenue of Rs 419 cr in the quarter, nevertheless reported a net loss of Rs 481 cr due to high interest costs on its loans.

Out of the net loss of Rs 481 cr during the quarter, interest expenses accounted for 383 cr.

Despite the loss, the company’s bottom line was surprisingly stable given the sharp decline in revenue due to Reliance Jio’s ultra cheap plans.

Tata Teleservices Maharashtra’s revenue fell 38% on year.

Compared to the previous three months, revenue was down 19%.

The company said its promoters, the Tata Group, will put in money into the company.

That amount, together with the proceeds of the sale of some of its assets, will be used to meet its financial obligations “as and when they fall due”, it added.