BHUBANESWAR:Even as margins for telcos remain under pressure owing to intense competition, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is hopeful of swinging into profit in FY19-20, a year later than previously estimated.
Disruption in the market and fall in tariffs have dashed hopes of clocking profit this year. “In this financial year, it won’t be possible...because the market has disrupted a lot and many companies are in red. We hope that in 2019-20 we will be able to swing into net profit,” said Anupam Shrivastava, chairman and managing director, BSNL.
BSNL had gained market share at a time when rival private operators had seen that metric static. “We gained customers from companies that were closing operations. We did a mid-course correction. We realised that in this disruptive market, there is no point in focusing solely on revenue but also customer market share...we were able to do both,” he said.
BSNL’s loss stood at Rs 4,786 crore in 2016-17, marginally lower than Rs 4,875 crore in 2015-16. The losses, in fact, have narrowed sharply from Rs 8,234 crore in 2014-15. BSNL’s total revenue has been pegged at about Rs 32,000 crore and revenue from operations at about Rs 28,000 crore in 2016-17, with EBITDA at about Rs 1,700 crore, he said.
“While the number is still to come out for 2017-18, we expect that EBITDA should remain in positive territory in spite of competition in the market. We also expect to reduce net loss through lower expenditure...We expect to maintain our revenue (at the same level as last year) during 2017-18,” he added.
Stressing on the company’s plans for the current year, Srivastava said BSNL intends to focus sharply on gaining subscriber market share and accelerate the momentum on the growing enterprise business to protect revenue over the coming quarters. “In 2018-19, we are going to grow our revenue on the back of the enterprise business, infrastructure sharing, collaboration for FTTH (Fiber to the home) and other services.”