Airtel’s India revenue grew 11% year-on-year to Rs 27,811 crore during the quarter, while average revenue per user (ARPU) — a key parameter for measuring growth of telecom operators — increased 7.7% to Rs 208 from Rs 193 a year ago.
The company has been increasing tariffs to boost profitability and factor in higher consumption. Airtel’s prepaid mobile customers, who form the bulk of its user base, now pay at least Rs 155 for about a month-long service as the company had raised rates by 56% in January last year.
“We remain on course with our strategy of premiumisation that helped us add 7.4 million 4G/5G customers and exit the quarter with an industry-leading ARPU of Rs 208. Even at this ARPU, our return on capital employed, however, continues to be low at 9.4%. To ensure industry health, tariff repair is extremely critical,” Airtel MD Gopal Vittal said.
The company also has substantial mobile operations in Africa, due to which it also releases consolidated numbers. It said that despite devaluation of African currencies during the period, the consolidated revenue from operations during the third quarter grew 6% to Rs 37,899 crore from Rs 35,804 crore in the year-ago period.