October 25, 2018 / 11:48 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-India's Bharti Airtel Sept-qtr profit plunges on pricing pressure

(Adds details, share close)

Oct 25 (Reuters) - India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd posted a 65.4 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, as it faces pricing pressure amid aggressive competition in the country’s telecom sector.

India’s telecom industry has been battered by a price war, sparked by the entry of billionaire Mukesh Amabani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

Meanwhile, Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone Plc have merged their India operations to create the country’s largest telecom operator by subscribers and revenue.

Bharti Airtel posted here a profit of 1.19 billion rupees ($16.25 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 3.43 billion rupees a year ago.

Revenue fell about 6.2 percent to 204.23 billion rupees, the New Delhi-based company said.

Its domestic average revenue per user (ARPU) during the quarter fell 28.8 percent to 101 rupees, while Africa ARPU dropped to $3 from $3.2 last year.

Airtel shares closed down 6.43 percent on Thursday, while the NSE index ended 0.98 percent lower. ($1 = 73.2300 Indian rupees) (Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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