Solid Innings

May 15, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) said Monday, group net profits for the first quarter of 2006 topped 1.3 billion rupees, despite continued losses from its mobile subsidiary and a levy on international calls. At the close of Monday’s trading SLT’s shares dipped 0.25 rupees or 1.9 percent to 13.00 rupees.

-by Mel Gunasekera The cash rich dominant fixedline operator posted net profits of 1.5 billion rupees (up 41 percent), while revenues surged 25 percent to 8.6 billion rupees.

“Sales of CDMA (code division multiple access) phones during the quarter were very good and we sold around 70,000 new connections,” Pat Abeysekera, SLTs Chief Operating Officer told LBO.

CDMA, a low cost wireless technology, is commonly used by operators worldwide for faster mobile phone connections.

In Sri Lanka, telco’s SLT, Lanka Bell and Suntel are using CDMA technology to provide fixed-line access, making telephony accessible and affordable to all, even in the most far flung regions.

SLT, which joined the CDMA race after its rivals, has sold around 100,000 connections to date, said Abeysekera.

During the quarter under review, SLTs fully-owned subsidiary