India’s Bharti Airtel Q4 profit jumps 21 pct

MUMBAI, April 29, 2009 (AFP) – India’s top mobile phone company Bharti Airtel reported Wednesday that fourth-quarter net profit jumped 21 percent year on year, boosted by a rise in the number of cellular phone users. For the full year, the New Delhi-based company announced a 26 percent jump in net profit to 84.69 billion rupees (1.68 billion dollars) on a 37 percent increase in revenues to 369.61 billion rupees.

Net profit for the three months to March 31 rose to 22.39 billion rupees from 18.5 billion rupees in the same quarter last year as revenues grew 26 percent to 98.2 billion rupees, the company said.

The firm based its figures on US accounting standards.

Bharti boosted its customer base by 8.3 million during the fourth quarter to nearly 94 million subscribers, while its client based climbed by more than 46 percent year-on-year.

Bharti has a 24 percent market share of India’s wireless market.

“Our focus on rural penetration and customer affordability led to strong growth,” said Sunil Mittal, chairman and managing director of Bharti Airtel.

“The India growth story continues and we expect revival of the economy in the second half of this fiscal year,” he said in a statement