November 15, 2019 / 5:04 AM / a month ago

Bharti Airtel posts $3.2 billion loss on provisions for telecoms dues

A Bharti Airtel office building is pictured in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) on Thursday posted a consolidated net loss of 230.45 billion rupees ($3.23 billion) in the second quarter of its financial year as it made provisions for dues owed to the government.

Bharti said it made a provision of 284.50 billion rupees, more than 92% of the overall charge for exceptional items, after the Supreme Court last month upheld a demand by the telecoms department that wireless carriers pay 920 billion rupees ($12.97 billion) in overdue levies and interest.

“We continue to engage with the government and are evaluating various options available to us,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the government will take a considerate view in this matter given the fragile state of the industry.”

Analysts on average expected the company to report a loss of 11.16 billion rupees for the three months to the end of September, according to Refinitiv data.

Bharti’s Indian revenue rose 3% year-on-year to 153.61 billion rupees.

($1 = 71.3500 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Mark Potter

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