Vodafone India Ebitda slumps 39%

Telecom sector

The company, which is on course to merge with the third largest player, Idea, had Rs 22,579 crore in revenues, and an operational profit of Rs 6,704 crore a year ago, which is down 39.2 per cent.

The two companies have also said they will look at selling their holdings in Indus, the country's biggest mobile masts operator with 123,000 towers, which is jointly owned with an affiliate of rival network operator Bharti Airtel.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 40.75 billion rupees ($622.26 million) in the half year ended September 30, from 67.04 billion rupees a year earlier, Vodafone India, the country's No.2 telecom operator, said in a statement on Tuesday. "The parties will work together to further the expansion of high-speed mobile networks in India", it added. "We are making good progress in securing requisite approvals for our merger with Idea Cellular and in monetising our tower assets".

The tower business will be sold at an enterprise value of 40 billion rupees ($613 million) to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, a unit of American Tower Corp, Idea Cellular said in a statement.

For ATC, the deal strengthens its position in the Indian market.

Canada's Brookfield, which called off talks to buy a stake in struggling Indian network operator Reliance Communications masts arm, has said it is open to acquiring the business under revised terms, while it looks at other potential opportunities in the India.

In a statement, American Tower's CEO Jim Taiclet said, "We expect the addition of these two high-quality portfolios to be highly complementary to our existing assets and to contribute to long-term leasing growth as India's leading mobile operators accelerate their 4G network deployments".

The telco's average revenue per user stood at Rs 132 in the second quarter compared to Rs 141 in the first quarter of the financial year.

The entry of Reliance Jio in the telecom sector has led to a wave of consolidation as the financials and margins of existing players have come under huge pressure.

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