Steady Growth

November 1, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s biggest telephone company, Wednesday reported a third quarter profit gain of 42 percent after it signed up more wireless customers. The company, which controls 85 percent of Sri Lanka’s fixed-line telecommunications market, made a 1.57 billion rupee net profit over a 23 percent revenue growth of 10.32 billion rupees during the three months to Sept. 30.

The strong earnings lifted SLTs nine months’ figures, with net profits up 55 percent to 3.87 billion rupees over a 27 percent sales growth of 29.88 billion rupees.

The telco’s CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) last mile operations, which began last November, runs on a wireless network offering a range of services like faster internet/email connectivity and the mobility to move the handset anywhere, just like a cellular phone.

SLT’s current CDMA subscriber base is expected to cross 200,000 users by end-December.

A joint venture with India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), to route the company’s international calls through a submarine cable, is also expected to contribute to SLT’s bottomline later this year.

SLT expects to route around 10 percent of