Bharti Infratel profit rises 62 pc to Rs 411 cr in Oct-Dec

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Bharti Airtel's tower business unit Bharti Infratel today reported 62 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 411 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, as operators focus on faster roll out of 3G networks.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 254 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, the company said in a statement.

Revenue of the tower firm also rose 4 per cent to Rs 2,731 crore for the reported period as compared to Rs 2,626 crore for the same period last year, it added.

"The regulatory environment in telecom sector is improving and more clarity will emerge after the auctions on February 3, 2014. With price hikes and the data revenues witnessing strong growth, the operators have started focusing on roll out of 3G networks," Bharti Infratel Vice Chairman and MD Akhil Gupta said.

He added that the company expects the momentum to increase in coming quarters.

"We believe that faster rollouts of 3G and 4G networks post successful spectrum auctions will be key in the coming year," Gupta said.

The total tower base of the company stood at 82,813 as on December 31, 2013 along with 163,370 co-locations, while the average sharing factor increased to 1.96 from 1.92 in the same period last year.

Bharti Infratel's consolidated portfolio of over 82,000 towers includes over 35,000 of its own towers and the balance from its 42 per cent equity interest in Indus Towers.

The company's consolidated operating free cash flow for the quarter was at Rs 708 crore, an increase of 30 per cent over the corresponding period last year on account of higher operating income.

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