New Delhi– Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit for the January-March (fourth) quarter of 2017-18 dropped by 77.8 per cent, a company statement said here on Tuesday.

The company posted net profit of Rs 83 crore for the Q4 of 2017-18 compared to Rs 373 crore posted during the corresponding period a year ago.

The net revenue of the company during the quarter stood at Rs 19,634 crore, down 10.5 per cent from Rs 21,935 crore posted during the corresponding quarter in 2017-18.

The statement said during the quarter mobile data traffic had grown more than six times to 1,540 billion MBs in the quarter as compared to 225 billion MBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Mobile broadband customers increased by 79.3 per cent to 76.6 million from 42.7 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

“The telecom industry continues to witness below cost, artificially suppressed pricing. Industry revenues were further adversely impacted this quarter due to the reduction in International termination rates. Airtel continued to consolidate its leadership position this quarter,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia.

“Our strategic investments in data capacities, innovative digital content through Airtel TV, customer friendly bundles and upgrade programs led to the highest ever mobile data customer additions of 15 million during the quarter. Usage parameters remained robust on a year-on-year basis, we saw data and voice traffic grow 584 per cent and 55 per cent respectively,” he added.

Vittal said the company ended the financial year 2017-18 with its highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 240 billion. “We intend to continue the rollout momentum next year as well.”

During the quarter, Bharti Airtel acquired Tigo Rwanda country operations in Africa.

“Airtel Africa’s revenues grew by 10.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Data traffic grew 88 per cent, voice minutes increased by 37 per cent and Airtel Money throughput grew by 45 per cent on a year-on-year basis,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Africa operations. (IANS)