Indian arm of Norwegian telecom firm Telenor has posted an operating loss of Rs 3,226.31 crore in the third quarter ended September 30, hit by a massive loss due to impairment of its licences.
It had posted an operating loss of Rs 299.52 crore in the same period a year ago.
“Based on recent observations in the Indian market, the fair value of the licences in Telenor India has been assessed, resulting in an impairment loss of NOK 4 billion (Rs 3,192 crore),” Telenor said in it financial report.
Telenor Group President and CEO Sigve Brekke said, “We continue to explore options in India.”
The company has indicated its possible exit from India business due to high spectrum cost that leads to high investment and low returns.
During the first nine months of 2016, Telenor said it has identified an impairment amounting to Rs 5,346.6 crore related to tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India.
In addition, Telenor has written down Rs 478.8 crore in non-interest-bearing receivables during the first quarter of 2016.
“During the nine months of 2016, total impairment loss and write downs related to Telenor India of NOK 7.3 billion (Rs 5,825.4 crore) were recognized,” Telenor said.
The company said that “revenues in local currency increased by 12% compared to the same quarter last year. Subscription and traffic revenues in local currency increased by 10%”.
However, as per reported Norwegian Krone numbers the revenue growth was 8.8%.
Telenor, however, said that its EBITDA margin increased by nearly one percentage point to 38% as a result of high revenue growth and strong margins in Bangladesh as well as improved performance in India.
Telenor said that its average revenue per user was up at at Rs 92 during the reported quarter. The company reported subscriber base of 45 million at the end of September 30,2016.