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Bharti Airtel’s Q4 net profits slashed, sales up


Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, saw Q4 net profits cut by almost a half as higher interest costs, tax charges, depreciation and African losses took their toll, but there were solid growth indicators, particularly in its domestic market and on the African continent.Net profits for the three months ended 31 March 2013, at INR5.09 billion ($94.3 million), were 49.4 per cent down compared with the same period the year before. Analysts, reports Reuters, had expected the firm to post a net profit of INR7.41 billion. Bharti Airtel has now notched up its thirteenth consecutive quarter of falling profits. The firm’s full-year net profits, at INR2.27 billion (down 46.6 per cent over the previous year), is the smallest in seven years. Operating free cash flow fell 23.1 percent to INR 29.6 billion, thanks largely to an increase in capital spending from INR23.8 billion to INR35.2 billion.