Weak Data

May 14, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia said it had lost 1.86 billion rupees in the March 2009 quarter against a profit of 888 million rupees a year ago, though losses were less than in the December quarter. In the December 2008 quarter, the firm lost 3.9 billion rupees.

Revenues of the group, which includes a pay TV unit, were down to 8.44 billion rupees from 8.8 billion rupees in the same quarter last year.

Last year’s line was re-stated because the way revenue was recognized from TV subscribers was changed in 2008, the company said.

At company level, core mobile revenues were down to 7.77 billion rupees from 8.22 billion rupees, though officials have said that subscribers were still growing.

“This suggests that the on-going price war has resulted in a decline in average revenue per user,” says Channa Amaratunga, from CT Capital.

The company said 255.7 million rupees had been allocated for the quarter as costs for a voluntary retirement scheme. At group level it was 277.8 million rupees.

Finance costs for the quarter was up sharply to 799 million rupees from 100 million rupees.

“With accelerated currency depreciations, the company’s funding cost on its foreign currency