Net profit surged 89 per cent to Rs. 962 crore for its fiscal fourth quarter to end-March, New Delhi-based Bharti Airtel said on Tuesday.
After reporting declining quarterly profit for four years, Bharti Airtel posted a profit rise for the December quarter, helped by higher call prices and a surge in mobile data sales.
Voice services still account for close to 85 per cent of mobile revenues, but high-margin data services are growing much faster.
Bharti and its two closest rivals, Vodafone Group Plc's local unit and Idea Cellular Ltd, have become stronger in the past year and now account for about 70 per cent of the sector's overall revenue.
The three carriers spent a total of $8 billion in an airwave auction this year to buy the majority of the spectrum on offer, fend off competition and expand their mobile data businesses.
The entry of cash-rich conglomerate Reliance Industries into the telecoms market is now the biggest risk for the three top companies.
Bharti Airtel's African business has been a drag on the company, which has to yet to turn a profit there four years after spending $9 billion to acquire money-losing mobile phone assets.
Losses in its international business, which includes the African operation, more than doubled to Rs. 1,218 crore before exceptional items.
Bharti Airtel operates in 20 countries across Asia and Africa and is the world's fourth-biggest cellular carrier by customers.
Bharti said performance in Africa was hurt by a "seasonal downturn" in parts of the continent and regulatory intervention in Nigeria, its biggest African market.
Total revenue for Bharti Airtel,rose 13.5 per cent from the year-earlier quarter to Rs. 22,219 crore, behind estimates of Rs. 22,445 crore.
Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) from its Indian operations, a key metric for phone carriers, rose 1 per cent to 196 rupees for the quarter compared with the previous quarter. In Africa, ARPU fell 5 per cent from the previous quarter to $5.50.