October 29, 2019 / 3:55 AM / a month ago

India's Airtel postpones Q2 results, seeks clarity on court ruling

BENGALURU, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel said on Tuesday it has postponed its second-quarter earnings report to mid-November, as the Indian wireless operator sought clarity on the court ruling asking telecom firms to cough up overdue payments to the government.

Shares of the company, which was expected to release its quarterly numbers later in the day, dropped 3.3% in early trade.

The New Delhi-based company's board, which met earlier in the day, accepted the management's recommendation to shift the September-quarter results to Nov. 14, the telecom operator said in a statement here filed to the stock exchanges.

India’s Supreme Court last week upheld a demand by the country’s telecoms department (DoT) that wireless carriers pay 920 billion rupees ($12.97 billion) in overdue levies and interest.

The company is approaching the DoT to seek clarity on the total amount involved and seek their support to deal with this “adverse outcome”, New Delhi-based Airtel said.

Airtel’s rivals have also expressed concerns about the court ruling. Loss-making smaller rival Vodafone Idea said it will ask the federal government for relief on payments of at least $4 billion after the court ruling. (Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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