Tele Margins

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 15, 2012 (LBO) – Profits at Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s largest telco, fell 72 percent to 365 million rupees in the March 2012 quarter hit by exchange losses, though operating profits improved interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 20 cents per share for the quarter. The stock traded 38.90 up 80 cents by mid-day Tuesday.

Sri Lanka Telecom is 44 percent owned by Malaysia’s UT group and 49.5 percent by Sri Lanka’s Treasury.

Revenues in the December quarter rose 9 percent to 13.5 billion rupees, expenses also rose 9 percent to 8.6 billion rupees allowing margins to also keep pace, rising 9 percent to 4.9 billion rupees.

Operating profit after depreciation grew 14 percent to 1.8 billion rupees.

At the core wireline company also revenues grew 7 percent to 8.5 billion rupees and profits after depreciation grew 6 percent to 1,156 million rupees.

“The strong underlying growth in operating profits demonstrates our sound growth strategy balancing profitable growth coupled with significantly increased capital investment in network modernization and capacity expansion,” chairman Nimal Welgama said in a statement.

“Our i-Sri Lanka project is delivering high speed island wide broadb