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SLT Group net profit up by 35%, revenue recorded at Rs. 67.2 bn. in first nine months 2020

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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”.



Business

Pan Asia Bank posts steady performance during FY 2023 –

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Aravinda Perera- Chairman & Naleen Edirisinghe - Director CEO of Pan Asia Bank

Profit before Tax increases by 258% amidst external challenges

Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC reflected a steady performance amidst multitude of adversities emerging from challenging macro-economic conditions as the Bank reported its financial performance during 2023, which showed judicious portfolio management and prudency exercised in dealing with possible fallout on its asset quality in challenging times.

The Bank reported a Pre-tax Profit of Rs. 2,328 Mn for the year ended 31st December 2023, which is 258% increase compared to corresponding period last year, supported by improved net interest income, increased trading gains from government securities and reduced exchange losses.

The Sri Lankan economy has experienced some positive signs of gradual economic recovery and a measure of stability in macro-economic factors compared to the previous year, with the appreciation of LKR against USD and the IMF bailout followed by the Domestic Debt Optimization (DDO) announcement. The multiple economic scenario models used regarding collective impairment in 2022 were continued in 2023 to ensure that adequate buffers were in place to absorb any potential credit risk that could arise in the future. The allowance for overlays applied in previous year was continued and maintained during 2023 too. Meanwhile, the Bank managed to end the year with healthy credit quality matrices due to improved credit underwriting standards and concerted collection & recovery efforts despite the contraction in the loan book during 2023 which impacted the Bank’s Stage 3 Loan Ratio adversely.

Furthermore, the Bank increased impairment provision buffers held regarding investments in International Sovereign Bonds of Government of Sri Lanka (SLISBs) further during 2023 with the expectation of possible adverse outcomes of the on-going government External Debt Restructuring (EDR) programme. The Bank recognised an impairment charge of nearly Rs. 2 Bn regarding International Sovereign Bonds during 2023.

The interest income for the year 2023 rose by 39% due to the high interest rates that prevailed during the period under review compared to corresponding period of the last year and the re-pricing effect of facilities in response to the market conditions. Further, the growth in interest income was supported by the increased interest income from Rupee denominated securities of the Government of Sri Lanka (T-Bills & Bonds) due to increased investments and high interest rates offered on such new investments compared to the previous year. Consequently, the net interest income increased by 9% in 2023 compared to the last year. (Pan Asia Bank)

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SLT-MOBITEL celebrates the season of love with exciting giveaways

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SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider, celebrated Valentine’s Day with a series of heartwarming promotions and networking activities, spreading love and joy for customers across the country.

Connecting hearts from all around the world on social media, SLT-MOBITEL invited participants to share their loving memories for a chance to win movie tickets. Customers were also given the opportunity to dedicate romantic ringing tones to their loved ones by dialling special codes.

As part of the Valentine’s Day celebrations, SLT-MOBITEL also offered a special promotion, providing a special screening for the glamorous movie ‘Sihinayeki Adarey’, powered by SLT-MOBITEL. Furthermore, customers were treated to a surprise bonus of 10GB of free data upon recharging their SLT-MOBITEL mobile numbers with Rs. 500 or more through any banking app.

Taking love to the hill country, in a special engagement event at the Kandy City Centre, fans were able to participate in activities and interact with the ‘Sihinayeki Adarey’ cast including Hemal Ranasinghe, Sheshadri Priyasad, and many others.

Through these exciting promotions, SLT-MOBITEL helped spread love and joy this season while enhancing the customer experience with exclusive activities.

To discover more of SLT-MOBITEL’s Valentine’s Day promotions, visit https://www.facebook.com/SLTMobitel.

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Call for Proposals: Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant 2024

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The Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) is inviting proposals for the Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant 2024. The grant is an annual, merit-based grant awarded to an outstanding undergraduate studying in a Sri Lankan university. It aims to promote policy entrepreneurs among undergraduates by encouraging policy-relevant, rigorous and innovative socio-economic research.

The grant was established in 2018 to honour Dr. Saman Kelegama’s legacy of independent research and public policy engagement in socio-economic development in Sri Lanka and the wider South Asian region. Dr. Kelegama was the Executive Director of the IPS from 1995 to 2017.

Fourth-year undergraduates studying economics or a related subject in a University Grants Commission approved university or higher education institution in Sri Lanka are eligible to apply. Proposals must be written according to the guidelines provided and emailed to tharakam@ips.lk on or before the submission deadline of 30 April 2024.

HOW WILL THE WINNER BE CHOSEN? The quality of the proposals will be judged for its policy relevance, feasibility, originality and creativity. Three finalists will be chosen and invited to present their proposals at the IPS, where the award recipient will be selected.

OUTCOMES OF THE GRANTS – The recipient will be expected to produce a Policy Discussion Brief within six months of receiving the grant. The research report can be written individually or jointly with an IPS senior researcher.

BENEFITS OF THE GRANT – The beneficiary will be awarded a one-time research grant of LKR 200,000 to carry out the proposed research and a three-month internship at the IPS. The recipient will be able to seek guidance from senior researchers and benefit from IPS resources to complete the proposed study during the internship. To enable students from all over Sri Lanka to benefit from this opportunity, the terms of the internship will be flexible. The internship can either be a fully in-house internship at IPS, or it can be an in-house plus online internship. In the case of the second option, the in-house component of the internship should be at least six weeks. To encourage research dissemination, an additional subsidy will be provided for presenting the research findings at local conferences and workshops.

Important Dates

30 April 2024 – Deadline for Submission of Proposals

01 June 2024 – Announcement of Finalists

23 June 2024 – Announcement of the Winner

Further information is available at: https://www.ips.lk/saman-kelegama-memorial-research-grant/

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