Indian cellco Reliance Communications (RCOM) has revealed a 2.7% rise year-on-year in consolidated net profit for the three months ended 31 December 2008. Net profit for the quarter stood at INR14.1 billion (USD286.7 million), up from INR1.37 million a year earlier. Revenues for the operator also rose against the same period last year, climbing 20% to INR58.5 billion, whilst earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 11% y-o-y to INR23.5 billion. RCOM attributed the growth to the increased subscriber numbers, boosted by the launch of GSM and DTH services. RCOM chairman and managing director has announced that the cellco will reduce CAPEX for the next financial year to INR150 billion, down from the INR250 billion it has planned for the existing year; the operator claims to have spent INR160 billion so far this financial year ending March.
RCOM’s subscriber base climbed to 61.35 million at the end of December 2008, up from 56.05 million a year earlier, with the operator reporting that it had signed up ten million customers to its GSM-based services since launch in December 2008. RCOM has announced that its GSM network coverage will expand to approximately 24,000 towns from the current 14,000 it covers in the near future.
In separate but related news RCOM has also announced that it has integrated its GSM and CDMA services in the Orissa circle, and will now offer both under the united banner of ‘Reliance Mobile’. The cellco has claimed that merger will allow it to better utilise its resources and improve growth prospects.