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While you express yourself, Bharti's laughing its way to the bank. As it doubled its subscriber base in the year ended March '04, Bharti Tele-Ventures' annual profit also zoomed to Rs 619 crore, compared to a loss of Rs 134 crore last year.
Its quarterly profit quadrupled to Rs 304 crore for the quarter ended March '04, compared to Rs 70 crore in the same period last year. The company had recorded a net profit of Rs 161 crore in the third quarter of this fiscal.

The consolidated revenues for the year grew by 64% to Rs 5,002 crore over the last year and EBITDA more than doubled from Rs 759 crore last year to Rs 1,671 crore this year. During the quarter ended March 31, '04, the company had revenues of Rs 1,553 crore and EBITDA of Rs 533 crore, exhibiting a year-on-year growth of 54% and 105%, respectively. For the quarter, revenue grew by 22% and EBITDA was up 13% over the last quarter. The company had net profits of Rs 304 crore. The net profit margin improved from 15% in the third quarter to 20% in the fourth quarter.
"This is our first full year of net profit. In what was the most challenging year for the telecom industry, Bharti has once again demonstrated strong growth and has shown profits for the full year. " said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director, Bharti.

"Focused strategy, improved execution, partnerships with global leaders in IT and cellular infrastructure and the confidence of all our stakeholders has given us the size and scale to attain our objective of being a globally-admired telco," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director, Bharti.
"Bharti is now poised alongside giants like Infosys and Wipro in terms of market cap, revenue and growth," he added.

During the quarter, Bharti maintained its leadership position with its GSM market share at approximately 25% as on March 31. It also added more than 1m customers on its network for the first time.

Commenting on their proposed airport venture, Mr Mittal said, "We will remain focused on telecom. We will foray into other infrastructure projects along with partners, but may not be so hands-on there."

Bharti Tele-Ventures boasts of about 71 lakh customers as on March 31, '04. This includes over 65 lakh mobile and 637,000 fixed-line customers. As on March 31, the company has made a gross investment of over Rs 12,416 crore in India in the telecom sector. One of the earliest entrants in the telecom industry, the company, provides mobile services in 15 of the 23 circles.

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