Sri Lanka Telecom share price gains after surprise profit jump

July 31, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom’s share price rose Thursday after it reported June quarter profit nearly tripled to 1.5 billion rupees helped by its newly profitable mobile subsidiary. The stock was up 3.33 percent or 1.50 to 46.50 rupees around 1.00 p.m. on the Colombo stock exchange, after hitting a high of 47.50, although volumes were small.

SLT net profit shot up 168 percent to 1.5 billion rupees in the quarter ending June 30, 2008 from 560 million rupees in the same quarter the year before.

Group revenue went up 21 percent to 11.8 billion rupees over the same period last year.

Analysts said profits from its mobile unit, Mobitel, helped boost SLT’s bottom line.

In the March quarter Mobitel contributed a third of SLT’s nearly 1.7 billion rupee profit.

Cheaper technology and a growing customer base has helped Mobitel lower costs enabling the mobile firm to turn around after five years of losses.