Reliance Profits Rise 47%

Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) , India’s second largest mobile operator, reported a 46.8 percent year-on-year rise in profits for its fiscal fourth quarter Wednesday, beating analysts’ expectations. (See Reliance Reports FY08.)

Reliance reported net income of 15.03 billion Indian Rupees (US$372.19 million) in the three months ended March 31, while revenues for the quarter climbed 34.9 percent year on year to INR53.11 billion ($1.32 billion).

Analysts had forecast net income of INR13.3 billion ($329.35 million) on revenues of INR52.6 billion ($1.3 billion), according to Reuters.

Reliance, which operates a CDMA network in 21 of India’s 23 circles, or service regions, and GSM services in eight regions, signed up 4.8 million new mobile subscribers during the quarter to bring its total to 45.8 million.

For the full financial year, Reliance’s revenues rose 31.8 percent over the previous year to INR190.68 billion ($4.72 billion) and net income soared by 70.8 percent to INR54.01 billion ($1.34 billion).

The carrier's capex budget for the year reached INR212.04 billion ($5.25 billion) as it focused on expanding its network coverage and capacity. Reliance has been awarded licenses and spectrum to extend its GSM network nationwide, and expects to begin rollout by the end of this year. (See Reliance Gets GSM Spectrum and Reliance Gets GSM Nod.)

Running dual networks will give Reliance the spectrum and network capacity it needs to meet rocketing demand for mobile services in India. Operators added a record 10.2 million subscribers in March alone, overtaking the U.S. as the world’s second biggest mobile market. (See India Crosses 10M Mobile Adds in March.) Last year India added a total of 86.22 million new subscribers, putting second behind for mobile growth, according to Light Reading’s Top 10 Emerging Mobile Markets 2007.

Reliance is looking to raise more cash for expansion by launching an IPO of its tower infrastructure unit, Reliance Infratel. The company filed its paperwork with the stock exchange back in February, but Reliance chairman Anil Ambani said today it’s waiting for market conditions to improve before taking the company public. (See Reliance Infratel Files for IPO.)

Reliance is also looking at a public listing for its newly combined global services unit, Reliance Globalcom, which incorporates submarine cable operator FLAG Telecom and Ethernet services provider Yipes. (See Reliance Integrates Global Services.)

Reliance shares rose INR5.05 (0.88) to close at INR579.75 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

Cequity 12/5/2012 | 4:08:50 PM
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