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Dialog consolidates YTD performance with a stable Q3

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Dialog Axiata PLC announced, Wednesday its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30th September 2020. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the “Group”).

The Group concluded Q3 2020 with stable performance across Mobile, Fixed Line and International businesses despite multiple challenges stemming from the Covid 19 pandemic. Group Revenue recorded a growth of 5% on a Year-on-Year (“YoY”) basis to reach Rs30.5Bn for Q3 2020 mainly due to the recovery in Mobile Revenue. Group Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (“EBITDA”) reached Rs13.6Bn for Q3 2020 up 14% YoY driven by Revenue performance and diligent cost control initiatives. Group Net Profit After Tax (“NPAT”) reached Rs4.8Bn to record growth >100% YoY for Q3 2020 due to EBITDA performance and forex gain of Rs.188Mn relative to the forex loss of Rs1.0Bn in Q3 2019.

On a Year-to-Date (“YTD”) basis the Group performance remained moderate owing to free offers and challenges associated with Covid-19 dampening the performance in Q2 2020. The YTD Revenue impact from Covid-19 is estimated to be Rs4Bn led by Roaming, Enterprise, Television and Retail Mobile segments.

The Dialog Group recorded a consolidated revenue of Rs87.9Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2020, demonstrating a growth of 1% YTD. On the back of cost control initiatives, Group EBITDA grew 4% YTD to reach Rs36.5Bn. The Group EBITDA Margin was accordingly recorded at 41.5% for the nine months ended 30th September 2020. Underpinned by stable EBITDA performance Group NPAT demonstrated a growth of 3% YTD to record Rs8.6Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2020.

Dialog Group continued to be a significant contributor to state revenues, remitting a total of Rs13.8Bn to the government of Sri Lanka (“GoSL”) during the nine months ended 30th September 2020. Total Public remittances included Direct Taxes and Levies amounting to Rs4.1Bn and Rs9.7Bn in Consumption Taxes collected on behalf of the GoSL.

Group capital investment for the first nine months of 2020 was recorded at Rs12.0Bn representing a capex to revenue ratio of 14%. Capital expenditure was directed in the main towards continued investments in transforming Dialog into a digital telco, by digitising all spheres of the organisation and to further strengthen the Group’s leadership in Sri Lanka’s mobile and home Broadband sectors. Group Operating Free Cash Flow (“OFCF”) has recorded at Rs21.5Bn for the first nine months of 2020 up from Rs17.6Bn recorded for the corresponding period in 2019. Consequently, cash balance increased by Rs8.4Bn as compared to year end 2019 to record at Rs13.3Bn by end September 2020. Dialog Group continued to exhibit healthy and low geared balance sheet as the Net Debt to EBITDA ratio remained at 0.53 times as at 30th September 2020.

At an entity level, Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) continued to contribute a major share of Group Revenue (69%) and Group EBITDA (75%). Company revenue was record at Rs21.1Bn for Q3 2020 and Rs60.6Bn for the first nine months of 2020 up 3% YoY albeit declining 2% YTD, mainly due to the Covid-19 related core Revenue slowdown.

Company EBITDA was recorded at Rs10.2Bn for Q3 2020 up 12% YoY while it reached Rs27.3Bn for the first nine months of 2020 representing an increase of 2% YTD. Downstream of EBITDA performance the Company NPAT was recorded at Rs4.6Bn for Q3 2020 and Rs9.0Bn for first nine months of 2020, increasing 5% YTD.

Dialog Television (“DTV”), continued its leadership position in the Digital Pay Television space with a subscriber growth of 11% YoY by end Q3 2020. DTV Revenue declined 3% YoY to reach Rs2.2Bn for Q3 2020 amid continued consumer wallet pressure. On a YTD basis revenue was down 1% to record Rs6.5Bn for nine months ended 30th September 2020, due to Covid-19 associated free services and slowdown in Q2 2020. Downstream of Revenue performance, DTV EBITDA recorded a decline of 9% YTD to reach Rs1.7Bn for the first nine months of 2020. Accordingly, DTV Net Loss increased to Rs845Mn for the nine months ended 30th September 2020 relative to a Net Loss of Rs335Mn for the corresponding period in 2019.

Dialog Broadband Networks (“DBN”) featuring the Group’s Fixed Telecommunications, Broadband and International Businesses recorded revenue of Rs8.0Bn for Q3 2020 up 10% YoY while the Revenue was recorded at Rs23.3Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2020 up 13% YTD. DBN EBITDA recorded a growth of 11% YTD to reach Rs7.6Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2020. NPAT reached to Rs626Mn up 8% YTD for the first nine months of 2020.

More details are available at the following links:

Dialog Axiata PLC direct weblink: https://www.dialog.lk/quarterly-reports

CSE direct weblink: https://www.cse.lk/home/company-info/DIAL.N0000/financial



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Seylan Bank takes the lead to promote LANKA QR beyond Western Province

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Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, organized the ‘Seylan Pay QR Carnival’ in Kurunegala to promote the LANKAQR programme introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to strengthen digital transactions in Sri Lanka. The special programme, focusing on encouraging local merchants and SMEs to join the national QR transaction system, took place at the Vehera Sports Ground in Kurunegala recently. Officials from the Central bank of Sri Lanka, the Lanka QR Committee and partner banks were present at the event.

Organised as the 14th leg of the LankaQR national rollout campaign, the Seylan Pay QR Carnival set a firm footprint with the highest number of merchants at the event. Seylan Bank alone on boarded over 100 merchants for the SeylanPay payment solutions from the Kurunegala area. Over a thousand customers walked in during the event which benefitted many merchants accepting LankaQR, to process transactions on the day and generate great traction in the district since then.

As the key feature of the event, Seylan Bank educated their customers on the use of the Bank’s QR payment system, the SeylanPay Mobile App, and assisted customers in making payments to merchants. Over 50 stalls selling clothes and accessories, gift items, food, sweets, electronics and electrical equipment, plants, beauty care, cosmetic items and automobile parts were set up for the benefit of consumers, with attractive added discounts for customers using QR payment systems to purchase items, thereby encouraging and familiarizing the use of it among them. This marked a record high number of merchants participating among many LankaQR nationwide rollout campaigns that were organised to date. A Seylan Bank Mobile ATM was deployed at the premises, ensuring that customers had easy access to carry out cash withdrawals if required and check their account balances at any given time. In addition, a special fun zone was set up for children at the event premises, whilst a musical evening entertained the adults present at the Seylan Pay QR Carnival.

“Seylan Bank’s commitment to develop the banking and finance network together with the industry led to us hosting the 14th leg of the Lanka QR national rollout campaign. We also realize the potential this system brings to the SME sector in the country, in terms of transaction efficiency and savings. As a bank that has continued to support SMEs in the country in a wide spectrum, the alliance with Lanka QR helps in developing the entire transaction ecosystem of the country,” commented Chaminda Senewiratne, Head of Digital Banking Channels, Seylan Bank.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka introduced the LANKAQR service in October 2020 with the aim of moving towards a cash-less society while increasing financial inclusion in Sri Lanka, and was supported in this endeavour by Banks, licensed financial institutions and Lanka Clear (Pvt.) Ltd. It has already stood out as an attractive option with notable benefits for small and medium enterprises.

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Stylish Garments unveils its latest export-oriented BOI factory in Ambalangoda 

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With the Board of Investment (BOI) widening its projects, Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd, unveiled its sixth BOI approved factory in Ambalangoda which manufactures children’s wear, jerseys including school uniforms exclusively targeting the international market. The Stylish Garments is a renowned a garment manufacturer and exporter of jersey knit and lighter woven apparel products.

The latest project, which is a USD 3.5 million investment, is to generate 500 employment opportunities for people living in the south and other parts of the country. Moreover, the products are slated to be exported to the UK and Europe. The agreement in this regard was signed recently at the BOI Head Office in the presence of BOI Director General Renuka M Weerakone.

The Director General said “A project of this nature should be recognized owing to the fact that it depicts the vibrant and vivid expansion of BOI projects, which has now started to reach the rural areas, The new venture will uplift the livelihood of the people living in the Ambalangoda area plus become a crucial source of bringing dollars to the country in a situation where the country isin dire need of dollars,” she underscored.

Founder and incumbent Chairman of the Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd Leelaratne Hattanarachchi said,” we were determined to launch the project irrespective of current challenges because such new projects would bring dollars to the country. That’s the very reason why I ventured to start operations at this new factory by turning the advantage of this crisis to ourselves. At the same time, we do appreciate the support rendered by the BOI at this critical juncture and look forward their support in future too.”

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Browns Investments solar power plant deal dominates CSE trading

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE’s leading listed company, Browns Investments, disposed of 50.1 per cent of its stake in Sagasolar Power Power (Private) Limited to another leading company, Aitken Spence Pvt. Ltd. yesterday, market sources said.

The total value of the company was Rs 1.4 billion and under this deal Browns Investments sold the stake for Rs 700 million. The capacity of the solar power plant is 10 megawatts, stock market analysts said.

Sagasolar Power built the solar PV facility on 45 acres (18.2 ha) of land within a dedicated energy development area in Baruthankanda, Hambantota district, Southern province. The country’s previous largest solar plant is a 1.3-MW facility also located in Hambantota.

Amid those developments, the trading activities in the stock market turned negative due to macro and micro economic uncertainties. Accordingly, stocks slipped over 1 per cent at mid-day trade yesterday for the third consecutive day, market analysis said.

The All- Share Price Index fell by 121 points and S and P SL20 went down by 50.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 982 million without any crossings. Top seven companies that that contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 274 million (3.5 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 185 million (1.2 million shares traded), JKH Rs 77 million (626,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 59.8 million (9.9 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 58.9 million (8.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 32.6 million (89,000 shares traded) and Commercial Bank Rs 15.4 million (309,000 shares traded). During the day 51.5 million share volumes changed hands in 14000 share transactions.

Yesterday the Central Bank announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 356.04 and the selling price Rs 367.33.

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