November 14, 2019 / 11:53 AM / a month ago

India's Bharti Airtel posts $3.2 bln loss on provisions for telecoms dues

NEW DELHI, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Indian mobile carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd on Thursday posted a consolidated net loss of 230.45 billion rupees ($3.23 billion) in the second quarter of its financial year as it made provisions for dues owed to the federal government.

Bharti said it made a provision of 284.50 billion rupees, more than 92% of the overall charge for exceptional items, after India’s Supreme Court last month upheld a demand by the telecoms department that wireless carriers pay 920 billion rupees ($12.97 billion) in overdue levies and interest.

“We continue to engage with the government and are evaluating various options available to us,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the government will take a considerate view in this matter given the fragile state of the industry.”

Analysts on average expected the company to report a loss of 11.16 billion rupees for the three months to the end of September, according to Refinitiv data.

Bharti’s Indian revenue rose 3% year-on-year to 153.61 billion rupees.

$1 = 71.3500 Indian rupees Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Mark Potter

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