July 29, 2020 / 2:07 PM / 17 days ago

Bharti Airtel quarterly revenue rises 15% on higher data usage, tariffs

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

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd on Wednesday reported a 15.4% rise in first-quarter revenue as customers consumed more data during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, even at higher rates.

Indian telcos hiked tariffs late last year after the country’s top court ordered them to pay 920 billion rupees ($12.31 billion) in overdue levies and interest to the government.

That helped quarterly revenue at the country’s second-largest telecom operator by subscribers rise to 239.39 billion rupees, from 207.38 billion rupees a year earlier.

India imposed a nationwide lockdown in late March, confining millions of people to their homes.

Although the restrictions have been gradually eased, the health crisis has kept many people indoors, boosting internet consumption in the country.

Airtel’s quarterly average revenue per user jumped 22% to 157 rupees.

It posted a consolidated loss of 159.33 billion rupees, compared with a loss of 28.66 billion rupees a year earlier.

The company recorded provisions of 107.44 billion rupees related to license fee and spectrum usage charges in the quarter.

Reporting by Philip George and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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