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February 09 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom’s profits surged in the last quarter by 160 percent driven by strong revenue growth taking annual profits up by 76 percent, results released Friday showed. SLT’s group revenue with mobile services rose 25 percent to 40 billion rupees in the year to December, while profits after-tax grew to 5,438 million rupees from 3,093 million, taking earnings per share to 3.01 rupees.

SLT shares closed Friday at 33.50 rupees, up 50 cents.

The earnings released after the market close were slightly ahead of analysts forecasts.

In the December quarter group profits grew to 1,568 million rupees form 604 million in 2005.

Revenue at mobile subsidiary Mobitel, grew by 49 percent and its subscriber base by 111 percent, the company said in a statement.

Group profit however came from the parent whose revenue rose by 23 percent to 36 billion from 29 billion in 2005.

Consolidated profits (SLT also has a directory publisher and point of presence firm in Hong Kong) at 5,438 million rupees was down marginally softer from SLT’s stand alone profit of 5,497 million rupees.

Chief Executive Shoji Takahashi said the company’s strategic initiatives were al