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Bharti Airtel Q1 net down nearly 28% to Rs1,215.20 crore

Income before taxes dropped to Rs1,719 crore in Q1, FY11-12 from Rs2,072 crore in the corresponding previous period, mainly on account of higher interest outgo on the Africa acquisition and 3G investments in India and 3G license fee amortisation

Mumbai: Telecom services major Bharti Airtel today said its net profit dipped nearly 28% to Rs1,215.20 crore in the quarter ended 30 June 2011 compared to Rs1,681.60 crore in the same period of the last fiscal, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

Total sales were, however, up by over 38% to Rs16,982.80 crore in the reporting quarter against Rs12,285.60 crore in Q1 FY10-11, reports PTI.

"Bharti Airtel has started this fiscal year on a stable note. Revenue growth has been steady across all geographies, with Africa recording a healthy sequential growth of approximately 6% and annual growth of 21%," Bharti Airtel chairman and managing director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

In India, the company's efforts in the area of cost efficiencies have helped arrest the margin decline, he added.

Income before taxes dropped to Rs1,719 crore in Q1, FY11-12 from Rs2,072 crore in the corresponding previous period, mainly on account of higher interest outgo (Rs344 crore on the Africa acquisition) and third generation (3G) investments in India and 3G license fee amortisation (Rs159 crore).

Last year, Bharti Airtel acquired Zain Telecom's Africa operations for $10.7 billion to become the world's fifth largest mobile operator.

Also, the effective tax rate for the first quarter increased to 29.9%, mainly due to a reduction in tax holiday benefits in India, which hurt net profit.

India and South Asia revenues were up by 11.9% year-on-year at Rs12,631 crore, while Africa revenues stood at $979 million (up by 6% vis-à-vis Q4, FY10-11), the statement said.

"The new customer facing the organisation in India will see more agile and responsive teams in action. This will also give a fillip to growth in value-added services, broadband, digital TV and Airtel Money. Overall, 2011-12 promises to be an exciting year of transformation," Mr Mittal said.

The company's overall customer base stood at 230.8 million across 19 countries.

Shares of Bharti Airtel were trading at Rs 422.90 apiece, down 2.12% on the Bombay Stock Exchange in noon trade today.

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