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Sri Lanka Telecom’s net profits fell just short of the two billion rupee mark, but operating cost continued to surge, despite undergoing a hefty early retirement scheme. Sri Lanka Telecom’s net profits fell just short of the two billion rupee mark, but operating cost continued to surge, despite undergoing a hefty early retirement scheme. The dominant carrier posted a 75 percent jump in group net profits to Rs. 1.7 bn, while revenues surged 14 percent to Rs. 14.5 bn, for the six months ending June 30, 2004.

A nine percent drop in the rupee against the US dollar contributed to SLT’s revenue growth.

SLT introduced a high-tech billing system and underwent a Rs. 710 mn voluntary retirement scheme in 2003 to trim its waistline. These cost savings have not paid off yet with operating costs up 24 percent to Rs. 6.4 bn, during the period under review.

Elsewhere, its fully owned cellular subsidiary Mobitel continued to underperform, making a Rs. 491 mn loss during the period under review.

“The mobile operator seem to have somewhat turned around as the loss for the second quarter of this year is only Rs. 150 mn,” says Vajira Premawardhana, Head of Research at LOL