The broadband revenue of the Group surged significantly over the same period last year underpinned by the increase of FTTH (Fiber-to-the-Home) footprints across the country by the ongoing accelerated Fiber Expansion Program by SLT and the increase of mobile broadband services by Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. PEOTV revenues too soared during the period under review. However, the Group experienced a de-growth in Voice revenues in both SLT and Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd.
The Group’s stringent cost management measures maintained the Group’s Operating Costs before Depreciation and Amortization at the same level compared to last year, pushing the EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) margin up to 39.3% from 34.9%. The EBITDA increased to Rs. 26.4 Bn, up by 18.4% YoY. The Depreciation and Amortization of the Group increased by 9.8% YoY to Rs. 16.7 Bn. The Group recorded an impressive growth in Operating Profits of 37.0% YoY to Rs. 9.7 Bn mainly due to the elevated EBITDA of the period.
The Interest Expenses and Finance Costs rose to Rs. 2.1 Bn from Rs. 1.4 Bn YoY as a result of increased borrowings to finance the growing capital expenditure in order to align with the global technological trends and fulfilling the changing customer demands. FOREX losses of the Group mounted to Rs. 0.8 Bn from Rs. 58 Mn in the same period last year stemming from the depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against USD, mainly due to the adverse impacts during the early stages of Covid-19 pandemic.
Group Profit Before Tax (PBT) recorded at Rs. 8.3 Bn, a 18.9% growth compared to the year before, while Profit After Tax (PAT) posted at Rs. 6.7 Bn, demonstrating a YoY increase of 35.4%. The PAT margin went up to 10.0% from 7.8% for the same period the year earlier.
During the first nine months of 2020, SLT Group paid out a total of Rs. 11.8 Bn as Direct and Indirect Taxes and Levies to the Government of Sri Lanka.
Rohan Fernando, the Group Chairman, commented, “Our performance in the first nine months is strong evidence of SLT Group’s ability to navigate during uncertain times. This performance is a testament to the vital role that our products play in our customers’ lives. Our goal is to make the SLT Group the number one in the telecommunication and digital market. In order to realize that goal we explore new local and international markets, join hands with new funding partners and utilize/ monetize the underutilized assets within the Group. We need to build and improve positive attitudes in the mindsets of our customers, employees and all other stakeholders to accomplish better than yesterday. The progress we have achieved in the first nine months will help us to gradually reduce the accumulated borrowing incurred on developing the National Fiberization program. This initiative which began in 2017 has placed the company on a strong platform to move further in the Digital world”.
Lalith Seneviratne, the Group Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “As a Group with widespread operations across the country in both fixed and mobile operating services, resourced with expertized human capital and physical capital, we strive to leverage the synergies within the Group and thereby to improve efficiency and lower the operational expenses. We have already made several initiatives on the same and we will continue to reap the benefits of Group collaborations over the years to come”.
Mr. Kiththi Perera, Chief Executive Officer of SLT stated, “SLT proudly launched ‘SLTGO’ the community WiFi network recently, in partnership with FON Wireless Limited, the world’s largest community WiFi network operator. This solution provides an opportunity to SLT customers to access internet anywhere from SLTGO WiFi hotspots in Sri Lanka and from 23 million WiFi hotspots all over the world. In addition, as a responsible corporate citizen, SLT is involved in many CSR activities including the ‘e-waste’ collection week in partnership with the Central Environmental Authority and the Department of Posts, and joined hands with Mobitel to transform discarded buses into libraries. We always believe delivering value to our customers, communities and all other stakeholders is the most promising way to build long term value”.
Mr. Priyantha Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer of SLT added, “We have successfully commenced the Phase 3 of accelerated Fiber Expansion Program to provide FTTH (Fiber-to-the-Home) connections across the country to provide an ultra-speed experience to our valued customers. We extended PEO TV GO services to our 4G LTE customers too to enjoy their favourite TV programs. I’m pleased to announce that our cloud based ‘SLT Storage’ facility reached one million files recently. Further, as the digital lifestyle partner of the country SLT entered into the mobile gaming arena with ‘SLT Kimaki’ in partnership with Arimac Lanka (Pvt) Ltd”.
BOI launches long term residence visa programme for investors
The Board of Investment (BOI) recently launched the five-year residence visa program dedicated to investors, stakeholders and BOI enterprises.Issuing long-term visas for investors has been the practice as per the international standards. On par with matching the international benchmark in respect of ease of doing business, the BOI has decided to launch this program to attract more investors to the country.
The long-term visa program, a long-felt need, primarily aims to facilitate the investors who wish to embark on a journey with the BOI.The BOI annually issues 7500-8000 visa recommendations for investors, employees and dependents.The BOI has granted visas for foreign nationals from 109 countries such as India, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan which represent the most applicants based on last year’s statistics.
Addressing the gathering, Investment Promotion Minister Dhammika Perera said “The happiness on the faces of those investors present at the occasion, implies that the newly launched visa residence scheme is a success,”
“Before the implementation of this program, they had to go through a long documentation process every year to get these visas,” he pointed out.
“Having understood the prime need to provide a seamless and convenient service for investors, we have launched the new program albeit I have not officially assumed duties as the Investment Promotion Minister,” Perera highlighted.
BOI Director General Renuka M Weerakone stated “It is certainly a pleasure to see all our long-standing investors on this special day of launching the long-term residence visa program for investors.
“You all have been the contributors towards 65% of export earnings to Sri Lanka and have stood by us even in times of difficult periods that our country faced, which we wish to acknowledge with great gratitude,” she underscored.
Dialog Enterprise introduces Dialog SmartLife App for Three Sinha roller doors
The Three Sinha Group, a leading roller door company in Sri Lanka, has teamed up with Dialog Enterprise, the corporate ICT solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, to launch a smart roller door controlled via the Dialog SmartLife App. This app enables users to control and access roller door services conveniently from their smartphones. Customers who use Three Sinha roller doors simply need to download the Dialog SmartLife App on Apple App Store and Google Play Store on their smartphone to operate the roller doors from anywhere.
“This is another important step in that process, and we are pleased to partner Dialog Enterprise to provide customers with a future-fit solution. I invite our customers to become a part of this experience”, said Manjula Ariyakumara, the Managing Director of Three Sinha Group of Companies. “As expounded by our brand ethos ‘The Future.Today’, Dialog is continuously seeking avenues of incorporating communication technology into many service areas and product offerings. In line with this vision, we are delighted to partner Three Sinha, a leading Roller Door company in Sri Lanka”, stated Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer – Dialog Enterprise of Dialog Axiata PLC
People’s Bank commemorates its 61st anniversary
People’s Bank, held a modest ceremony to on 1st July to commemorate their 61st anniversary at the bank’s Head Office in Colombo 02. Chairman of the People’s Bank Sujeewa Rajapakse and CEO/General Manager Ranjith Kodituwakku addressed the staff at this event.
In addition, Religious programs were organized by the Buddhist Association, Hindu Association, Muslim Majlis and the Christians Guild of the People’s Bank to invoke blessings on the country, the people, the customers and the pioneering leaders who have contributed to establish the People’s Bank.
Accordingly, a Pirith chanting was held at the Head Office which was followed by an alms giving at Sambodhi Viharaya in Fort with the patronage of Chief Incumbent Most Ven. Professor Iththademaliye Indhasara Thero. Hindu pooja was conducted by Sri Nivasa Kurukkal, Bambalapitiya, Islamic Service conducted by Deshabandu Al Haj Faisal Hassan mowlavi at Dawatagaha Jumma mosque in Colombo and the holy mass was conducted by Rev. Father Anton Rohitha at St. Philip Mary’s church in Pettah.People’s Bank Corporate and Executive Management, bank staffs and retired employees were also present at the occasion.
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