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Bharti Airtel Q3 PAT falls 72% to Rs 284 crore

NEW DELHI: India's top telecom services provider,Bharti AirtelBSE -0.55 % on Friday posted a much-lower than expected third quarter profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 284 crore. The profit which fell for the twelfth quarter in a row, is down a whopping 72%. An ET Now Poll had estimated the PAT to be at Rs 773.6 crore. 

Q3 sales came in at Rs 20,239 crore versus an ET Now Poll of Rs 20,380 crore. This is a rise of 9.5%. The company's loss for the third quarter from its Africa business stood at Rs 520 crore. 

According to the Bharti Airtel, the profit for the third quarter was hit by high depreciation, amortisation and interest cost. The company's stock fell post the disappointing results. At 10.24 AM the stock was trading at Rs 328.30, down 3.27% on the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

Bharti Airtel is the world's fourth-biggest cellular carrier by number of subscribers, operating in 20 countries in Asia and Africa. Singapore's SingTel owns almost a third of the firm. 

Earlier in the week the Sunil-Mittal led company announced changes in its top level management. In a major top-level management restructuring, Bharti Airtel will appoint Manoj Kohli as its managing director to revive its mobile business. 

Sunil Mittal, who is currently its chairman and managing director, will become executive chairman of the company, after Kohli moves to his new role. Kohli currently heads the firm's international operations as its chief executive officer and is also a joint managing director of the company. A company veteran, he is currently based in Nairobi, the headquarters of Bharti Airtel's African operations. 

Gopal Vittal, the new CEO of Bharti Airtel's India business, will be named joint managing director. He was named chief executive after the firm's India CEO Sanjay Kapoor stepped down two weeks back. 

Vittal will take over as the CEO in March. The management rejig comes at a time when the company is looking at improving profitability while increasing both 3G and 4G subscriber base. 

Bharti Airtel is also grappling with uncertain regulatory environment and bleeding business in Africa.