Mumbai: Mukesh Ambani, who upended India’s mobile-phone market with free data and voice services a year ago, said the business made profit before interest and taxes as the unit began charging for data even as it reported a net loss.
In terms of figures, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. had a Rs. 260 crore ($40 million) profit before interest and taxes, the company said in a statement on Friday. It’s the first time Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, has disclosed earnings for the business. The company reported a net loss of Rs. 271 crore on revenue of Rs. 6,150 crore.
Despite being the newest entrant in what was already one of the world’s most crowded mobile-phone markets, Jio has accumulated more than 138.6 million subscribers and has triggered a shakeout in the industry by undercutting prices. That’s prompted existing carriers to slash their tariffs and pursue mergers to survive.
Jio, which already ranks fourth locally in terms of mobile subscribers, is planning further market share gains. The company is offering a $23 mobile that offers 4G data plans that cost as low as Rs. 23 for two days or Rs. 153 monthly.