Mobile Profits

Feb 23, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom said it had made profit after tax of 1.51 billion rupees (13.7 million US dollars) in the year to December 2010 turning around from a loss of 395 million a year earlier.

Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator put in floors to keep up prices.

A Sri Lanka Telecom statement said revenues were driven by prepaid services and mobile broadband was also increasing.

The firm said it had notched up 4 million subscribers “despite an intensely competitive market.” Dialog Telecom claims 7.0 million subscribers and Etisalat 3.5 million.

The firm said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was 6.6 million rupees up 62 percent.

The firm said revenues grew 30 percent to 20 billion from 15.43 billion rupees a year earlier. The firm has paid 431 million rupees in tax, up from 176 million a year earlier with the end of a tax holiday.

Sri Lanka’s celco’s lost money until 2009 with a steep price war triggered by the entry of India’s Airtel as the fifth player. Mobitel itself was hit by a cut price plan given to state workers. Sri Lanka Telecom is 49.5 percent state-owned.