Tele Margin

May 10, 2014 (LBO) – Profits at Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator fell 21 percent from a year earlier to 1.25 billion rupees in the March 2014 quarter, amid a rise in expenses, interim accounts showed. The group which also has interests in fixed access and pay television reported earnings of 15.9 cents for the quarter. The stock closed at 9.40 rupees Friday.

Group revenues rose 7 percent to 16.3 billion rupees but expenses rose at a faster 17 percent to 9.8 billion rupees shrinking gross profits 4.9 percent to 6.5 billion rupees.

The company said depreciation charges were higher by 176 million rupees.

Its mobile revenues rose to 14.18 billion rupees from 13.3 billion rupees a year earlier, but were slightly down from the December quarter’s 14.24 billion rupees. The firm had 9.3 million subscribers by end March 2014.

Dialog Broadband, which is the fixed access and broadband unit had stable revenues of 1.5 billion rupees, the firm said. It lost 311 million rupees in the quarter up from 62 million rupees a year earlier.

The firm said higher depreciation charges from 4G (fourth generation) relative investments had hurt profits.

Its pay television services made a profit of 132