New Delhi, India, January 28, 2015: Idea Cellular is pleased to join a select club of top global Operators with over 150 million quality subscribers, providing company a unique platform for future growth in Mobile Voice, Wireless Broadband and Mobile banking services etc. In the Calendar year (CY) 2014, Idea added 22.2 million subscribers (VLR net adds); the highest addition in the Industry. ‘1 out of 6’ Indian prefer brand Idea for their mobile services as company’s subscriber market share raced past 18.1% (TRAI November 2014 VLR Report). Inspite of huge 17% incremental new customer addition in year 2014, the customer mobile spend (ARPU) on Idea network increased by Rs. 10 to Rs. 179 (Q3FY15 over Q3FY14), a clear testimony to growing power of brand Idea. The Company maintained its long term growth trajectory with 5.9% sequential quarterly revenue growth, helping Idea reach 31.0% EBITDA margin in Q3FY15. The standalone quarterly revenue of Rs. 80,148 million @21.2% YoY increase (over Q3FY14) was a balanced growth with voice minutes expansion by 18.1% (YoY) and ‘Average Realisation per Minute’ (ARPM) improvement by 3.2%. Idea continued its journey of strengthening its competitive market standing with Q2FY15 Revenue Market Share (RMS) @17.2%, an increase of 1.4% compared to Q2FY14.
During the quarter, Idea carried 170.7 billion minutes on its network, registering 5.1% sequential quarterly growth and 46.1 billion Megabytes of Mobile data on its 2G+3G platform, @16.9% quarterly expansion, with both lines of business delivering strong performance. The ‘Value Added Service’ (VAS) contribution has improved sharply to 23.1% of service revenue, an unprecedented gain of 7% in last one year. Due to competitive pressures and increased contribution from New service areas, the Voice realisation remained under pressure and has fallen sequentially by 0.6 paisa to 35.6p/minute in Q3FY15. However, 18.4% quarterly jump in Mobile Data revenue, contributing 15.7% to service revenue, helped Idea improve its ‘ARPM’ at 46.3p in Q3FY15 (vs 45.9p in Q2FY15).
The standalone quarterly EBITDA of Rs. 24,860 million, grew annually by 37.3% due to multiple drivers including robust subscriber addition, consistent voice minutes growth, explosion of Data volume, scale benefit and better cost management. Idea during last one year has improved its EBITDA margin by 3.6% to 31% from 27.4% in Q3FY14, on the back of 4.2% EBITDA margin improvement between Q3FY13 (23.1%) to Q3FY14. As the technology cycle shortens, the company on prudent basis reviewed and reduced the estimated useful life of core network equipments from present 10 to 9 years. Consequently, this quarter the depreciation charge has risen by Rs. 2,625 million. Inspite of accounting for this higher charge, Idea has delivered ‘Profit After Tax’ (PAT) at Rs. 6,783 million, 70.4% higher compared to Q3FY14 PAT at Rs. 3,981 million.
The strong Cash Profit of Rs. 20,286 million in Q3FY15 (YoY Growth of 29.5%) has helped company reduce Net Debt to Rs.110,891 million. The Net Debt to Annualised EBITDA ratio now stands at 1.12, lowest in the industry, providing company sufficient head room to participate in the forthcoming license renewal spectrum auction. The Mobile data subscriber base on 2G+3G platform has risen by 8.6 million in CY 2014 to 34.2 million. This quarter Idea held on its data rates (bended 2G+3G) – ‘Average Realisation per MB’ (ARMB) at 26.9p (vs 26.5p in Q2FY15). The blended Data ARPU (2G+3G) has improved by Rs. 35 in CY2014 to Rs. 126 as ‘Usages per Data Subscriber’ has grown to 470 MB per user in Q3FY15 from 309 MB in Q3FY14. The 3G (Voice+Data) customers have grown steadily this quarter to 16.1 million but still represents only 10.7% of Idea’s total subscriber base. Idea continued to expand its 3G footprint with incremental investment of 7,840 3G sites in CY2014 taking the overall 3G sites count to 27,744.
For Q3FY15, on consolidated basis including Indus 16% contribution, Idea revenue grew by 21.2%, an incremental YoY revenue growth of Rs. 14,044 million. During same period EBITDA rose by 34.1%, driving the absolute EBITDA for this quarter to Rs. 27,527 million at 34.3% margin (3.3% YoY margin increase). The consolidated PAT at Rs. 7,671 million in Q3FY15 has grown sharply by 64% from Rs. 4,677 million in Q3FY14. As mobility market services expand, Indian Telecom business offers exciting growth opportunities in Mobile broadband & rural voice telephony. Brand Idea with growing consumer affinity, strong cash flows, expanding 2G & 3G network footprint and competitive spectrum profile, reaffirms its ability to overcome current short term uncertainties, emerge stronger and consolidate its market position to tap emerging telecom and mobile banking opportunities.