Airtel postpones Q2 results, seeks clarity on Supreme Court ruling

BENGALURU: Bharti Airtel said on Tuesday it has postponed its second-quarter earnings report to mid-November, as the Indian wireless operator sought clarity on the Supreme Court ruling asking telecom firms to cough up overdue payments to the government.

Shares of the company, which was expected to release its quarterly numbers later in the day, dropped 3.3% in early trade.

The New Delhi-based company’s board, which met earlier in the day, accepted the management’s recommendation to shift the September-quarter results to November 14, the telecom operator said in a statement filed to the stock exchanges.

The top court last week upheld a demand by the country’s telecoms department (DoT) that wireless carriers pay Rs 92,000 crore ($12.97 billion) in overdue levies and interest.

The company is approaching the DoT to seek clarity on the total amount involved and seek their support to deal with this “adverse outcome”, Airtel said.

Airtel’s rivals have also expressed concerns about the court ruling. Loss-making smaller rival Vodafone Idea said it will ask the federal government for relief on payments of at least $4 billion after the court ruling.

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