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Feb 19, 2013, 04.38 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Expect Africa biz revenue at $4.5 bn: Bharti Ent

Even though Bharti Enterprises has not achieved initial revenue targets in Africa, Akhil Gupta, Dy Group CEO & MD is optimistic that the company will soon capture the growing market there.

We have been against competition which is irrational, but competition per se is never an issue with us.

Akhil Gupta

Dy Group CEO & MD

Bharti Enterprises

Even though Bharti Enterprises has not achieved initial revenue targets in Africa, Akhil Gupta, Dy Group CEO & MD is optimistic that the company will soon capture the growing market there.

 

According to him, the company is likely to garner an annualised revenue of USD 4.4-4.5 billion and USD 1.2-1.3 million of EBITDA.

 

Below is the edited transcript of the interview on CNBC-TV18

 

Q: Going by current records, it is unlikely that your company will be meeting initial targets of revenues as well as EBITDA of USD 5 billion and USD 2 billion respectively in Africa. Have you set any new targets for the business in Africa and do you have any plans for improvement for revenues and margins?

A: I think to some extent, yes, there has been a delay in terms of what we expected and what we have achieved. But I would say in Africa we are pretty okay in terms of the overall trajectory and trends. We are now close to annualised revenue of USD 4.4-4.5 billion and about USD 1.2-1.3 million of EBITDA. As far as targets are concerned, I think there is an ongoing growth we see in Africa which we would try and capture as quickly as possible.

 

Q: The decision that after paying Rs 1,650 crore, 4G license holders get to providing call services as well. What is your reaction and how will the company or industry react?

A: Unfortunately, I have not seen the full text of what was decided, so it is a little premature to comment. I think the issue will become clearer as we go along.

Q: Even if you have not read the government’s document, from what you must have gathered from the papers or the Telecom Secretary’s talk yesterday, what would be your company’s reaction?

A: I would really want to refrain from commenting on it, partly because we also have 4G licenses and I think this is an industry issue. Let the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) comment on this.

 

Q4: If another operator enters into the voice segment, do you see the possibility of going back to the highly competitive disruptive tariff regime that the telecom industry is just about getting out of?

A: We have been against irrational competition, but competition per se is never an issue with us. We are a product of competition ourselves and to say that any operator who might come in will always be irrational is also not a fair assessment.

Q: What is your opinion on where tariffs are headed? What would be the trend for another quarter?

A: I will not comment on a quarter, but on a long-term basis, this industry is very clearly in a financial crisis. The only way for players to get out of this is to have higher realised rates because input costs are constantly rising, and that would be continuous. We would need to keep elasticity in mind, therefore it would be a gradual process.

Bharti Airtel stock price

On October 01, 2014, Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 403.15, down Rs 1.1, or 0.27 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 419.90 and the 52-week low was Rs 282.10.


The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 19.52 per share as per the quarter ended June 2014. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 20.65. The latest book value of the company is Rs 166.93 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 2.42.

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