Bharti Airtel's profit slides in last quarter

3G licence fee costs and foreign exchange fluctuations dent profits
Sunil Mittal said that Airtel now has more than 250 million subscribers.
Sunil Mittal said that Airtel now has more than 250 million subscribers.

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Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel generated a net profit of $200 million in the quarter ending March 31, 2012. This marked a 35% drop compared to the same period last year, when the company made a net profit of $309 million.

Airtel attributed the decline to 3G licence fee amortisation, 3G interest costs, foreign exchange fluctuations and tax.

The telco posted revenue growth of $4.1 billion for the quarter, up 43.7% on the previous year. Revenues from its African unit grew by 18.8% in the quarter, the telco said in a statement.

Bharti Airtel's total customer base passed 250 million in the three months to March 31.

Sunil Mittal, chairman and managing director, Bharti Airtel, said: “The year has ended with the company’s customer base crossing 250 million across 22 countries, the twentieth country being Rwanda. Our launch of LTE, the first in India, is testimony to our commitment to the broadband agenda.”

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