MUMBAI: Reliance Communications' (RCom) losses significantly widened because of a one-time charge the Anil Ambani-owned telco had to factor in due to the closure of its wireless assets. For the January-March quarter, RCom posted a loss of Rs 19,827 crore compared to a loss of Rs 1,112 crore during the same period previous year.
The provision for impairment of assets by the telco for the fourth quarter of FY18 was Rs 21,255 crore. The company had shut its wireless business by end of last year due to tariff wars that had engulfed the telecom sector.
The operator reported revenue of Rs 976 crore a drop of 39.9% when compared on a like to like basis. The telco will be completing the sale of most its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm in the next few weeks and sell its real estate assets in New Delhi and Chennai to Brookfield for an aggregate of Rs 18,100 crore.
It managed to stave off insolvency by agreeing to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson and Rs 232 crore to minority shareholders of its tower unit-Reliance Infratel and end legal disputes that had delayed its asset monetisation program.
The operator stated in a regulatory filing that because it was undergoing a debt resolution process it had not paid interests for the quarter, otherwise the losses would have increased. "The loss would have been higher by Rs 989 crore and Rs 3,609 crore for the quarter and year ended March 31, 2018 respectively," said the telco.
In its segment wise performance, RCom's global operations made a profit of Rs 7 crore, a dip from the previous quarter's Rs 20 crore. It had made a loss of Rs 10 crore when compared on a like to like basis in this segment.
Rcom's loss for the March ended financial year was Rs 23,950 crore compared with Rs 1,320 crore a year ago. Revenue was Rs 4,684 crore compared to Rs 6,637 crore, in the previous financial year.