Voda-Idea posts loss of Rs 73,878 crore

Mumbai: Vodafone Idea, the country’s third largest telecom operator, on Wednesday reported a staggering Rs 73,878 crore of net loss in fiscal ended March 2020 – the highest ever by any Indian firm – after it provisioned for Supreme Court mandated statutory dues.

The firm, which has to pay Rs 51,400 crore dues after the apex court ordered the non-telecom revenues to be included in calculating statutory dues, said the liability has “cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

In a regulatory filing, Vodafone Idea (VIL) reported widening of March quarter net loss to Rs 11,643.5 crore. Its losses stood at Rs 4,881.9 crore in the same period a year ago and Rs 6,438.8 crore in previous October-December quarter.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) estimates the firm’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues at Rs 58,254 crore for period up to FY 2016-17, but the company put the dues at Rs 46,000 crore ‘after adjustment of certain computational errors and payments made in the past not considered in the DoT demand.’ Of the total dues, it has made a payment of Rs 6,854.4 crore.

The company took a hit of Rs 1,783.6 crore on account of AGR-related liabilities, and Rs 3,887 crore on account of one-time spectrum charges (OTSC), both of which were recognised as exceptional items during the quarter ended March 2019.

Revenue from operations for the just-ended quarter came in at Rs 11,754.2 crore. For the full year FY20, losses ballooned to Rs 73,878.1 crore. Vodafone Idea’s losses stood at Rs 14,603.9 crore in FY19.

The company said the financial results for the year ended March 31, 2020, are not comparable to those reported for the same period of the preceding year (merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had taken effect in August 2018).

The revenue from operations for full year FY20 stood at Rs 44,957.5 crore. The same was Rs 37,092.5 crore in FY19. In a statement, the company said the revenue had witnessed strong growth of six per cent quarter-on-quarter, driven by prepaid tariff hike effective December 2019.

Ravinder Takkar, MD and CEO, Vodafone Idea said “Our focus on rapid network integration, as well as 4G coverage and capacity expansion, has further improved customer experience. We thus continue to lead the league tables on 4G data download speeds across several states, metros and large cities. We have achieved our full opex merger synergy target.”

He added the next Supreme Court hearing on AGR matter is scheduled to be held in the third week of July. “Meanwhile, we continue to actively engage with the government seeking a comprehensive relief package for the industry, which faces critical challenges,” he said.

 

NT Bureau