SLT Profits down by 75% in 2nd quarter

slt_logoProfits of Sri Lanka Telecom group, fell 75 percent to 375 million in the June 2009 quarter, while revenues stayed flat at 11.74 billion rupees, with growth in data and mobile sectors. Operating costs rose 26 percent to 7.39 billion rupees, partly on account of Mobitel network expansion.

In the six months to June, wireline revenues had dropped 18 percent to 6.46 billion rupees, and wireless fixed access revenues had fallen 12 percent to 2.42 billion rupees. The company said it had 871,114 wireline customers by June 2009.

SLT said it owned the country’s largest fixed wireless network, and it was pushing services in rural areas, but customers were “very price sensitive” due to “increased switching power between operators”. International revenue had fallen 10 percent to 4.1 billion rupees, with the availability of services like Skype.

Data revenues had grown 15 percent to 3.2 billion rupees in the six months to June. SLT said it had 120,000 broadband ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber lines) with 50 percent market share. Subsidiaries including Mobitel had grown 39 percent to 7.3 billion rupees, allowing revenues to grow by just 1.0 percent to 23.5 billion rupees.

Mobitel’s subscribers had grown 61 percent to 2,993,000 by end June from a year earlier. Revenues had grown 40 percent to 7,261 million in the six months to June. After tax profits were down 63 percent to 214 million rupees. SLT said the growth came mainly with the post-paid Upahara package targeted at state workers. Analysts say the package triggered a price war in the telco sector. SLT said its subsidiary, SLT VisionCom IPTV service, had 10,000 subscribers.


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