Bharti Airtel posts smallest quarterly profit in four years on competition

Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile telecoms network operator, reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than four years on Tuesday, as free services offered by upstart rival Jio sparked a price war which has eroded sales and margins. The results highlight the turmoil in the world's second-biggest cellphone market following the entry late last year of Reliance Industries' new network operator Jio, which has forced Bharti and others to slash rates to retain customers. Bharti Airtel said its net profit plunged nearly 72 percent from a year earlier to 3.73 billion rupees ($57.7 million) in the three months ended March 31, its fiscal fourth quarter, missing analysts' forecasts of 5.28 billion rupees. It was the company's smallest quarterly profit since the December quarter of 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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