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India’s Bharti Airtel beats quarterly profit estimates on fare hike

A girl checks her mobile phone as she walks past the Bharti Airtel office building in Gurugram, formerly known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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BENGALURU, May 17 (Reuters) – Indian telecoms operator Bharti Airtel Ltd (BRTI.NS) said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit beat estimates and revenue jumped 22.3%, boosted by a recent price hike.

Its average revenue per user (ARPU) – a key performance indicator in the telecommunications industry – came in at 178 rupees for the quarter, up from 145 rupees a year earlier. The ARPU of rivals Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea for the same period was 167.6 rupees and 124 rupees, respectively.

Airtel, India’s second-largest operator, said in November when it announced price hikes that mobile ARPU should be Rs 200 and eventually Rs 300, for a financially sound business model.

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The company has raised funds to fund its digital ambitions including the development of home broadband, data centers, cloud adoption as it prepares to launch its next-generation 5G services in the country.

In January, he announced an investment of up to $1 billion from Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O). Read more

Airtel announced on Sunday that it would set up its fourth digital technology hub in the country, as part of plans to expand its internal digital engineering capabilities.

Its consolidated net profit stood at 20.08 billion rupees for the quarter, compared to 7.59 billion rupees a year earlier. Analysts had expected a profit of 19.78 billion rupees, according to data from Refinitiv IBES.

The company reported consolidated revenue of 315 billion rupees ($4.06 billion) for the quarter ended March 31, compared to 257.47 billion rupees in the same period last year, according to a filing. regulatory.

($1 = 77.5043 Indian rupees)

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Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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