Wednesday, February 28, 2024
India News

Solid Q3 growth for Jio

Net profit, at 5,208 crore, was also up 3% sequentially from Q2FY24; and revenues, at 25,368 crore, were up 2.5% over the previous quarter.

Brokerages such as BofA, ICICI Securities and JM Financial had estimated revenue increase to be around 2.3-3% sequentially and about 10% on-year, while net profit was estimated to grow around 2.7-3.8% and 12%, respectively.

The telecom carrier’s average revenue per user (APRU) remained flat at 181.7 sequentially, missing estimates of a rise to 183. However, it beat estimates on subscriber additions, with 11.2 million net additions for the quarter, taking India’s largest telco’s subscriber base to 470.9 million.

Comparatively, Bharti Airtel had a subscriber base of 375 million as of September 2023 (December numbers have not been declared yet).

“Jio has accomplished the fastest rollout of 5G technology witnessed anywhere in the world and is now available across India,” Akash M. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm said in a statement. Wireless 5G broadband service JioAirFiber saw good demand, especially in Tier III and IV towns and rural areas.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries (Jio’s parent company), said a strong uptake in the JioBharat phone and JioAirFiber has helped increase the subscriber base, “contributing to the stellar growth numbers of the digital services business”.

“The fact that we are currently offering 5G services on a trial basis impacted the ARPU because people don’t have to recharge for additional data usage at this point in time,” said Anshuman Thakur, senior vice president at Jio Platforms Ltd.

Further in Q3, Ebitda rose 11.5% to 13,955 crore from 12,519 crore in Q3 of FY23. And the operating margin decreased slightly to 26.3% from 26.6% in the previous year and 26.4% in the previous quarter ended September.

Jio, which rolled out its 5G network across India within a year of launch, now has about 90 million subscribers on 5G. The Jio True 5G network now carries almost one-fourth of its mobility data traffic, and the entire 5G data is now carried on Jio’s own 5G+4G combo core, the carrier said.

Licensing and spectrum costs increased 10% to 2,330 crore from 2,120 crore in the previous year and by 1.7% from 2,290 crore in September.

Jio’s finance costs in Q3FY24 were slightly higher sequentially at 1,016 crore compared to 1,008 crore in the September quarter. Quarterly access charges came in higher at 302 crore compared to 299 crore in the previous quarter.

Customer engagement on Jio network remained strong, with total data and voice traffic increasing, respectively, by 31.5% to 38.1 billion GB, and by 7.9% to 1.37 trillion minutes compared to the same quarter in the previous fiscal.

The No 1 carrier said its subscriber base saw an increase in absolute numbers by 7.5% primarily due to larger number of 5G subscribers coming into its network and higher net port-ins, or the number of subscribers coming into Jio’s networks from rivals. “We have been nearly two and a half times have our nearest competitor in terms of net port-ins,” said Kiran Thomas, chief executive officer of Jio Platforms and president of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

He added that the carrier’s Jio Bharat 4G handset now held 45% share of shipments in the month-on-month basis in the sub 1,000 price segment, which made up bulk of the existing 2G device market. “Since the JioBharat launch, we have also seen the growth in our subscriber base coming from the rural markets and net additions in those rural markets have now grown to become nearly 5.5 times of our nearest competitor,” he said. Jio Bharat 4G phones have three models priced between 999 to 2,599 gives access to apps like Youtube, Facebook and WhatsApp, along with Jio Entertainment Apps. The carrier said in a statement that discussions were ongoing with multiple partners/ OEMs to expand the platform further.

He also noted a spurt in demand of Jio AirFiber, its 5G broadband services, from tier three and four towns besides rural markets.

He added that enterprise services were gaining ground and had shown a 1.3times increase in revenu, with the top 100 accounts showing 30% growth.

“Earlier network was the driving force and digital services was an add on, but now if you see the recent trends, nearly 20% of the new deals that we are winning in the enterprise, it is actually driven by a non-network service,” he said.


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Published: 19 Jan 2024, 11:57 PM IST

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