Tele Group

Apr 26, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom group profits fell 36 percent to 604 million rupees in the March quarter from a year earlier, but had returned to profits from a loss in the December quarter, interim accounts showed. Group revenue grew 3.0 percent to 12.2 billion rupees, while revenues of the standalone company fell 3.0 percent to 8.1 billion rupees.

The group recovered from a loss of 379 million rupees in the December quarter.

In the March quarter interest costs fell to 299 million rupees from 502 million a year earlier. Interest expense has dropped with bullet repayment of a 100 million US dollar bond in November 2009 which used the balance of a sinking fund.

The group had also spent 188 million rupees on a voluntary retirement scheme.

Chairperson Leisha De Silva Chandrasena said efforts would be made to keep costs down.

Profits at Mobitel were improving.

“Mobitel, our mobile arm has contributed significantly to increase SLT Group profit through good performance in the face of strong competition,” chairperson Leisha De Silva Chandrasena said.

Sri Lanka Telecom is 44.98 percent owned by Malaysia’s UT group. The Sri Lanka government owns 49.50 percent and state run funds and banks