MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel Ltd., India's largest mobile telephone company, said Wednesday that record subscriber growth fueled a 21 percent rise in quarterly profit.
Net profit for the January-March quarter rose 21 percent from the same period last year to 22.39 billion rupees ($459 million).
Total revenue for the quarter grew 26 percent to 98.25 billion rupees ($2.01 billion).
Bharti, which has been aggressively expanding in rural India, said it added 8.4 million customers during the period - its highest ever addition for a quarter. That expanded its subscriber base to 96.6 million customers and inching up its market share to 24 percent from 23.7 percent last year.
"Our focus on rural penetration and customer affordability has been instrumental in delivering this strong growth," Bharti's chairman and managing director, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said in a statement. "The India growth story continues and we expect revival of the economy in the second half of this fiscal year." Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Southeast Asia's largest telephone company, owns about a third of Bharti.