British telecom major Vodafone registered 4.7 per cent decline in its India revenue at Rs 10,556 crore in local currency terms during October-December 2016 period, due to increase in competition from entry of Reliance Jio and partially on account of demonetisation.
The company had reported a revenue of Rs 11,077.63 crore in the same period a year ago.
However, the reported decline in terms of euro for the period was 5.5 per cent at 1,452 million euros compared to 1,536 million euros during the period under review.
“In AMAP (Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific), our strong organic performance in South Africa and Turkey was partially offset by India, where the sector is affected by free services from the new entrant,” Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said in result statement.
He said that intense competitive pressure is anticipated in India in the fourth quarter for which the company is taking a series of commercial actions, including the extension of 4G services to 17 leading circles.
“As announced earlier this week, we have also entered into discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all-share merger of Vodafone India and Idea,” Colao said.
Vodafone said there was “adverse impact of de-monetisation on prepaid top-up volumes during the quarter”.
The company’s data browsing revenue growth in India slowed from 16 per cent (organic) in second quarter of current financial year to 0.6 per cent in the third quarter due to the impact of free services from the new entrant.
“This drove a quarter-on-quarter decline in our active data customer base to 65 million (from 69.6 million in second quarter), mainly reflecting fewer 2G users. Our 3G and 4G customer base declined slightly quarter-on-quarter to 35 million, and smartphone penetration is 35 per cent,” Vodafone said.
Overall data pricing declined 11 per cent year-on-year, while the growth in data usage per customer slowed to 15 per cent compared to 28 per cent in second quarter.
Vodafone said that customer base in India during the reported quarter reached 205 million.
The average revenue per user of Vodafone declined by about 10 per cent to Rs 158 in the third quarter ended December 31, 2016 from Rs 174 a year ago.
Overall Vodafone Group’s revenue declined by 3.9 per cent 13,687 million euros (around Rs 99,504 crore) from 14,247 million euros (around Rs 1,02,749 crore) during period under review.