October 31, 2017 / 11:04 AM / a year ago

India's Bharti Airtel Q2 profit plunges 77 pct

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top telecoms operator, posted a near 77 percent fall in second-quarter profit, hurt by fierce competition in the country’s telecoms sector after the entry of an upstart rival.

Profit fell to 3.43 billion rupees ($52.98 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from 14.61 billion rupees a year earlier, the New Delhi-based company said on Tuesday. bit.ly/2yZwBgr

This was above an average expected of 3.03 billion rupees, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Revenue of the company, which operates in 17 countries across Asia and Africa, fell 11.7 percent to 217.77 billion rupees.

The fortunes of operators, such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular, have been battered by sharply discounted plans and free services offered by Reliance Industries’ Jio telecoms unit, backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, that was launched last year.

$1 = 64.7475 Indian rupees Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar and David Evans

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