Tele Profits

Feb 23, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom said it made a profit of 1,542 million rupees in the December quarter from a loss of 379 million rupees a year earlier, helped by a turnaround of its mobile unit, while revenues rose 6 percent to 12.9 billion rupees.

Malaysia’s UT group owns 49.8 percent of the firm and Sri Lanka’s government, 49.50 percent.

The group reported 85 cents of earnings per share for the quarter. The stock traded at 59.00 rupees up 40 cents, Tuesday.

In the year to December group revenues rose 5.0 percent to 50.2 billion rupees and profits rose 402 percent to 3,943 million rupees, resulting in earnings of 2.18 for the full year.

SLT said at company level, which mainly runs the fixed line business, revenues dropped to 33.21 billion rupees in 2009 ” mainly due to price pressures and alternative solutions available in the market.”

But the firm said its after tax profit margins were up to 7 percent from 4 percent and earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin was 30 percent.

Chairman Nimal Welgama said in a statement that the firm now has 8,000 kilometres of optical fibre cables, 200,000 fixed broadband customers, up 36 percent (57,000) from a year earlier, 1.4 million fixed lines