Vodafone says no India IPO this year, revenue up 5.9%

vodafoneKeeping the volatile market conditions in mind, said Vodafone, there would be no initial public offering of its Indian units’ shares this year.

Vodafone said it intends to proceed with an IPO of Vodafone India as soon as market conditions allow. “We do not expect this to take place during the current financial year,” it added.

The company, which took a whopping Rs 36,500 cr impairment charge due to increased competition in the Indian market, said service revenue from the country grew by 5.9% on year in rupee terms in the three months to September.

In comparison, Idea Cellular reported revenue growth of 7% for the same three months.

Data revenue increased 16% year on year while voice revenue increased 2.7%.

Excluding regulatory drags including mobile interconnect charge cuts, roaming price caps and an increase in service tax, the quarterly rate of growth was 6.3% year on year, it said.

“This underlying slowdown was mainly driven by lower data revenue growth resulting from increased competitive pressure.”

Data revenue growth slowed from 22% in Q1 to 16% in Q2.

“This was driven by a flattening of unique data user growth quarter-on-quarter, reflecting the impact of ‘free’ promotional offers from a new entrant,” the company said, referring to Reliance Jio.

Vodafone’s data customer base at the end of September was 69.6 million, down from 69.7 million three months earlier.

Overall data pricing declined 14% year-on-year, while data usage per customer continued to grow strongly to 504 MB on average, up 28%.

“Our 3G and 4G customer base continued to grow to 36 million, up 51%, and smartphone penetration is now 35%,” it added.

Voice revenue growth increased to 2.7% in Q2 from 2.2% in the preceding quarter. Total mobile customers increased 2.8 million over the period, giving a closing customer base of over 200 million for the first time.

During the period, the company added 4,100 new 3G sites, taking the total to 63,000. Total 4G sites was at 13,000. In comparison, Idea Cellular had around 25,000 4G sites at the end of September.

“We now have a strong position for our future 4G needs and plan to extend our 4G footprint from 9 to 17 circles by the end of the current financial year. These circles cover around 91% of our service revenues and 94% of our data revenues,” it said.