Airtel advertising on a shop front in Mumbai: AFP
Airtel advertising on a shopfront in Mumbai: AFP

The telecoms price war unleashed by Reliance Jio, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has taken a heavy toll on the country’s leading mobile phone services provider Bharti Airtel.

Airtel has reported a net loss of 9.4 billion rupees for its India operations during the quarter ending in June. In the same period of last year, it reported a net profit of 8.3 billion rupees, Business Standard reports.

However, its consolidated earnings were salvaged by a one-time windfall of 5.15 billion rupees from its Africa operations, which helped the company report a net profit of 970 million rupees for the June quarter. Without it, Airtel would have reported a consolidated net loss.

Compared with the previous year’s June quarter profit of 3.67 billion rupees, this represented a fall of 73.5%.

Total revenues were also down by 8.6% to 200 billion rupees for the June 2018 quarter, compared with 219 billion rupees for the same period in 2017.

Low tariffs affected the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) in India, which decreased to 105 rupees a month, from 116 rupees in the March quarter.

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led firm is soon set to lose its status as the country’s largest telecom services provider, as Vodafone‘s merger with Idea Cellular has been approved by the department of telecommunication.