Vodafone Idea on Wednesday posted a net loss of Rs 73,878 crore for the fiscal ended March 2020, making it the highest ever by any Indian firm – after it provisioned for Supreme Court mandated statutory dues.
The firm, which has to pay Rs 51,400 crore dues after the apex court ordered the non-telecom revenues to be included in calculating statutory dues, issued a statement just after midnight on Wednesday saying, “We have also classified certain borrowings from ‘non-current’ to ‘current maturities of long term debt’ for not meeting certain covenant clauses under the financial agreements for specified financial ratios as at March 31, 2020. We have exchanged correspondences/been in discussions with these lenders for the next steps/waivers.”
It further added, “it is to be noted that our ability to continue as going concerned is essentially dependent on a positive outcome of the application before the Hon’ble Supreme Court for the payment in instalments and successful negotiations with lenders.”
The Supreme Court is set to heart the AGR matter in the third week of July, in which the troubled telco seeks to pay its dies over a patriot of 20 years.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) estimates the firm’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues at Rs 58,254 crore for period up to FY 2016-17, but the company put the dues at Rs 46,000 crore “after adjustment of certain computational errors and payments made in the past not considered in the DoT demand.” Of the total dues, it has made a payment of Rs 6,854.4 crore.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea (VIL) in a regulatory filing reported widening of March quarter net loss to Rs 11,643.5 crore. Its losses stood at Rs 4,881.9 crore in the same period a year ago and Rs 6,438.8 crore in previous October-December quarter.
Revenue from operations for the just-ended quarter came in at Rs 11,754.2 crore.
For the full year FY20, losses ballooned to Rs 73,878.1 crore. Vodafone Idea’s losses stood at Rs 14,603.9 crore in FY19.
The company said that the financial results for the year ended March 31, 2020, are not comparable to those reported for the same period of the preceding year (merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had taken effect in August 2018).
The revenue from operations for full year FY20 stood at Rs 44,957.5 crore. The same was Rs 37,092.5 crore in FY19.
The company said that the revenue had witnessed strong growth of six per cent quarter-on-quarter, driven by prepaid tariff hike effective December 2019.
Ravinder Takkar, MD and CEO, Vodafone Idea said, “Our focus on rapid network integration, as well as 4G coverage and capacity expansion, has further improved customer experience.”
“We thus continue to lead the league tables on 4G data download speeds across several states, metros and large cities. We have achieved our full opex merger synergy target,” he added.
Speaking about the AGR hearing due in July, He said, “we continue to actively engage with the government seeking a comprehensive relief package for the industry, which faces critical challenges.”
Company’s gross debt (excluding lease liabilities) as on March 31, 2020, stood at Rs 1,15,000 crore including deferred spectrum payment obligations due to the government of Rs 87,650 crore.
“The network integration is in the final stages of completion but has been impacted by the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. As of date, we have completed network integration in 92 per cent of total districts,” the company added.
Due to the continuation of nationwide lockdown, the remaining consolidation is expected to take longer than initially expected, it said.
Its subscriber base eroded to 291 million in March quarter from 304 million in December quarter. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for Q4 improved to Rs 121 versus Rs 109 in Q3FY20, driven by the prepaid tariff hike effective from December 2019.
Vodafone Idea maintained it plans to monetise its 11.15 per cent stake in Indus Towers on completion of the Indus-Infratel merger.
VIL said that is no material impact of the pandemic on its overall performance, but it continues to monitor the situation closely.