Business Times

Sri Lanka Telecom makes profits in June 2010 quarter

Sri Lanka Telecom’s (SLT) June 2010 quarter net profit recorded an increase of 105% to Rs.768 million from a year ago with earnings from Mobitel and broadband covering up the loss in revenue from voice business mainly CDMA (a fixed wireless system), a stock exchange filing said.

A reduction in revenue from voice business resulted in a decline in sales at company level by 3 % to Rs.16.39 billion for the first half of 2010. However SLT group's mobile phone subsidiary Mobitel made an after tax profit of 336 million rupees in the June 2010 quarter as against a 36 million loss in the second quarter of 2009.

Group revenue for the second quarter increased by 5 % to Rs. 12.36 billion compared to the same quarter of previous year. SLT' s mobile subsidiary, Mobitel, was the major contributor to the profit gained by the Group. SLT's June 2010 quarter earnings included Rs. 151 million from a refund of the Telecommunication Development Charge (TDC), a levy paid by operators to the government at the rate of 0.038 US dollars per international incoming traffic minute.

The total amount of the levy payable by the Group and Company for the period from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2010 was estimated at Rs 1286 million and Rs 902 million respectively and has been recognized as expenses in the current financial period. Operators can claim two-thirds of the TDC within three years against the cost of development of its telecommunications network in un-served and underserved areas.
The SLT statement said the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has been informed that the Ministry of Finance and Planning has reduced the International Telecommunication Operators' levy by 50% from July 15, 2010 to 0.015 dollars a minute.

The total customer base of the SLT Group has risen 15 % to Rs. 5.15 million as at June 2010 over the last 12 months mainly due to the rapid growth of mobile customers. SLT said Mobitel had recorded 30 % growth in revenue for the first half of 2010.

"SLT expects stabilization in revenue from fixed lines from the floor rate and the interconnection regime recently introduced by the TRC coupled with several new price plans recently introduced by SLT," the statement said. "Future revenue growth is expected from the rapidly growing broad brand customer base and increased business volumes from our network expansions in the North and East," it added.

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