Sri Lanka postal service losses increase; letter use falls

Apr 25, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run postal service lost 3.0 billion rupees in 2010 up 22 percent from a year earlier, while revenues fell 6.8 percent to 4.3 billion rupees amid lower letter usage. Data released by the Central Bank shows that expenses rose 3.1 percent to 7,330 million rupees in 2010. Revenues had fallen despite efforts to get into banking services and sell pre-paid phone cards.

Letters per inhabitant fell to 17 in 2010 from 21 in 2009, according to data released by the Central Bank.

Sri Lanka’s telecom use has been rising in recent years, and in 2010, telephones exceeded the population. Availability of phones and email use can reduce the demand for letters.

Sri Lanka’s telecom sector started to expand after a state monopoly was broken in the mid 1990s and people were allowed to supply their own phones by building privately owned networks.

Analysts say private courier services are also competing with the state service in fast business mail offering same day delivery in city areas. There was no data available for the courier sector.

The Central Bank said the state service also launched an express courier service for Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo and suburbs t