Slithering Down

Sri Lanka Telecom reported a 26 percent dip in net profits for the first nine months, due to an early retirement scheme, higher operating costs and losses from its cellular subsidiary.
The monopoly telecom giant said Friday that net profits fell to Rs. 1.788 bn from Rs. 2.425 bn reported during the corresponding period 2002.rn

rnRevenues during the period perked by three percent to Rs. 19.170 bn from Rs 18.579 bn in 2002.rn

rnThe teleco giants earnings have come under pressure due to a 60 percent drop in international call revenues.

Revenues from outgoing calls have since picked up, due to a marketing blitz, but the lucrative earnings international inpayments are likely to fall by over 10 percent at the end of the financial year 2003.rn

rnGroup operating profits have also fallen 15 percent to Rs. 5.130 bn as annual salary increments and higher maintenance costs ate into meagre revenues. rn

rnSLT has paid back some of its loans during the period, which helped lower interest expenses by 13 perc