Bad Call

Outgoing Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom, Thilanga Sumathipala says the incumbent operator has posted Rs. 2 billion in profits for the first half of 2004. Outgoing Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom, Thilanga Sumathipala says the incumbent operator has posted Rs. 2 billion in profits for the first half of 2004. Sumathipala also expects a Rs. 4 billion year end profits for the telecom giant.

SLT’s billing cycle returning to normal by November and an overall increase in its voice business are expected to make the profit forecast.

Official results are due only in two weeks time, but Sumathipala took the liberty of disclosing the numbers at a press conference on Thursday called to announce his retirement as Chairman.

Anil Obeyesekera, an earlier Chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Corp., was appointed by the Alliance Government in mid July.

Industry analysts say the new Chairman will have a tough task of meeting Sumathipala’s forecasts, especially since customers have been slow in settling their bills after it reached them over six months late.

Telecom officials say they would not hesitate to disconnect customers if they fail to settle the bac