Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile phone carrier by subscribers, reported its ninth straight quarterly profit decline as intense price competition and losses on foreign exchange eroded earnings.
Consolidated net profit fell to Rs 10.06 billion in the fourth quarter ended March from Rs 14 billion a year earlier, Bharti said on Wednesday. That missed the average estimate of Rs12.12 billion in a survey of 19 analysts by Reuters.
Bharti, nearly a third owned by Southeast Asia's top phone carrier SingTel, operates in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
In 2010, the company paid $9 billion to acquire most of the African operations of Kuwait's Zain, making Bharti the world's fifth-largest mobile phone carrier.
Bharti, controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal, had 181 million customers in India as of end-March, or almost a fifth of the market of more than 900 million. (Reuters)