Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) Group released its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, with a remarkable 14.3% year-on-year growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) to Rs. 2.1 Bn.
The Group revenue went up to Rs. 24.7 Bn for the period with a 11.4% year-on-year growth, strongly underpinned by the growth in revenues of FTTH, 4G LTE, mobile broadband services, PEOTV services and carrier domestic services. International voice revenue reflected a de-growth while international revenues from global transit and global data soared compared to the same period last year.
The EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of the Group improved to Rs. 9.7 Bn, a 13.6% year-on-year growth, lifting the EBITDA margin up to 39.4% from 38.6% in the same period last year. The surge in revenue largely contributed to the EBITDA growth. The growing capital expenditure in order to align with the global technological trends pushed the Depreciation and Amortisation of the Group up to Rs. 6.3 Bn, a 18.0% year-on-year increase.
The Operating Profit of the Group stood at Rs. 3.4 Bn, reflecting a 6.3% year-on-year growth resulting from the increase in Group EBITDA which was partly offset by the elevated Depreciation and Amortisation for the period. Interest expenses and finance cost charged to the Profit or Loss Statement increased to Rs. 0.8 Bn for the period under review while the FOREX losses declined to Rs. 0.3 Bn. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) rose to Rs. 2.8 Bn, up by 9.3% over the same period last year.
The growth in EBITDA coupled with the effective collection strategies of the Group almost tripled the Operating Cash Flow of the Group to Rs. 12.2 Bn for the period under review. Further, the Group managed to reduce the Long-Term Borrowings to Rs. 44.9 Bn as at the reporting date.
The holding company of the Group recorded an impressive 13.5% increase in revenue over the same period last year reaching Rs. 14.2 Bn. The PAT of the company went up to Rs. 1.4 Bn, reflecting a 16.2% year-on-year growth.
The mobile arm of the SLT Group, Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd too improved revenue for the quarter by 8.1% year-on-year to Rs. 11.6 Bn. The PAT of Mobitel soared during the period to Rs. 1.5 Bn which is a 65.4% year-on-year growth resulting from the increased revenue and the effective cost management measures.
The Group paid a total amount of Rs. 3.7 Bn as direct and indirect taxes including levies to the Government in the first quarter of 2021.
SLT Group Chairman, Mr. Rohan Fernando announced:
“I am extremely proud of my management team and my staff for delivering yet another solid quarter. Our business continued to accelerate in the first quarter with a double-digit growth in revenues and profits and with a robust operating cash flow. Consolidation of our Group Sales and Marketing under the SLT-MOBITEL unified branding contributed immensely in achieving the success we report in the first quarter. While uncertainty related to Covid-19 remains, we will stay focused on driving growth, building on favourable market trends, improving operational performance and delivering value for all our stakeholders.”
SLT Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lalith Seneviratne remarked:
“Our first quarter financial performance represents a promising start to the year 2021. We commenced the year 2021 with the brand unification of SLT-MOBITEL which is another milestone in SLT Group’s legacy. The strategic journey of the SLT Group towards digital transformation has proven imperative with the present pandemic situation which has also demonstrated the critical role technology plays in everyday life. The Group remains resilient amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic owing to our robust business execution coupled with our attractive product portfolio.”
SLT Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kiththi Perera stated:
“We are successfully progressing with our accelerated fibre expansion programme with an aim to provide ultra-speed Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connections across the country. This year is pivotal to SLT since in mid-2021, SLT together with its mobile arm Mobitel aims at expanding and upgrading the present 4G network in view of providing an enhanced broadband experience and also to launch a pre-commercial 5G service using 3.5 GHz. In addition, SLT plans to invest in expanding its global network including the upcoming SEA-ME-WE 06 submarine cable system to connect to the world at the speed of Terra Bits per second. The domestic and global network expansions will be complimented by multiple digital initiatives in our efforts to continually improve customer experience and service levels.”
SLT Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Priyantha Fernandez commented:
“During this Covid-19 pandemic situation, SLT has provided an uninterrupted service to the nation and offered innovative yet affordable data packages to facilitate the shift towards work-from-home and study-from-home arrangements. Further, SLT in collaboration with Cisco and Millennium I.T.E.S.P. (Pvt) Ltd launched its new managed SD-WAN services to accelerate digitisation of enterprise and government customers in Sri Lanka. In addition, SLT-MOBITEL extended the PEO TV Go services to our mobile customers too to enjoy their favourite TV programmes.”
Mobitel Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chandika Vitharana added:
“As the world continues to go through a challenging era due to the ongoing pandemic, SLT-MOBITEL which provides an indispensable and critical service under the prevailing conditions was able to create value to all its stakeholders. As the National Mobile Service Provider, Mobitel, the mobile arm of the SLT Group is aggressively expanding the network to rural areas to ensure no one is left behind in these difficult and challenging times. Many initiatives were carried out during this period to make Broadband accessible to all. Affordable bundle device offers to help increase smartphone penetration, attractive application-based data plans, mobile and home broadband plans to facilitate work-from-home and learn-from-home conditions are a few of the initiatives devised to make Broadband affordable and accessible to all segments of the society according to their needs. While making broadband available to all, SLT-MOBITEL is committed to providing uninterrupted connectivity to the nation during these turbulent times.”
CDS signs up with Lanka IOC to act as Registrar
The Central Depository Systems (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), recently signed a service agreement with Lanka IOC PLC as the registrar for Lanka IOC PLC, with effect from 01st of January 2023. Lanka IOC PLC, with a corporate history spanning 20 years, is the only private sector auto fuel retailer in Sri Lanka. Over the years, the company has made a significant impact on the socio-economic landscape by enabling mobility, economic activity, and development. With an island-wide footprint of 213 retail outlets, the company services 12% of the country’s retail fuel demand.
Reasoning on appointing CDS, as the Registrar for Lanka IOC PLC, its’ Managing Director, Manoj Gupta, said, “we engaged CDS to conduct our virtual annual general meetings during the period of COVID 19 pandemic where all listed companies were not in a position to convene any physical meeting as it was most essential to maintain social distance. We found the services rendered to us by CDS were highly satisfactory. Thus, we are happy to appoint CDS as the Registrars of the company.” “CDS has provided the service of handling the dividend payments to shareholders consecutively for the last
three years and carried out the functions in a very good manner, coordinating well with the bankers and shareholders,” added the Company Secretary of Lanka IOC PLC, Ms. Amali Liyanapatabendi
SLT-MOBITEL honoured at Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2022
Reiterating its leadership in innovative broadband deployment solutions, SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT Solutions Provider was honoured with the prestigious ‘Technology Excellence Award for Network and Broadband – Telecommunications’ at The Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2022. The recognition is in appreciation of SLTMOBITEL’s innovative use of LTE 850MHz broadband solution which provides extensive coverage to rural areas of the country.
Understanding the need to provide superior rural connectivity to support the nation’s ongoing digital transformation and bridgingn the digital divide, SLT-MOBITEL’s innovative LTE 850MHz network strategically combined the underutilized spectrum from obsolete CDMA fixed line operations and forfeited its resources to obtain a new noninterfered 5MHz band for 4G LTE deployment from The
Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). This enabled, SLT-MOBITEL to significantly enhance rural connectivity across Sri Lanka, empowering every Sri Lankan to avail the benefit of SLT-MOBITEL’s Sub1GHz 850MHz LTE network especially during Covid-19 travel restrictions where broadband had become a necessity for everyone. In addition, SLTMOBITEL’s LTE 850MHz solution recovered valuable national spectrum resources which was interfered and exhausted earlier. With the coverage enhancement the mobile arm was able to connect an additional 700,000 subscribers who did not have access to broadband services earlier. With the LTE 850MHz deployment, SLT-MOBITEL was able to further bolster its support during COVID-19, providing rural communities especially the school children, people who worked from home and national authorities to immediately respond to Covid-19 emergency situations, thereby narrowing Sri Lanka’s digital divide
Lingering debt-restructuring worries trigger share market volatility
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE trading was characterized by a marked degree of volatility yesterday. The CSE started trading on a positive note but by mid-day the market had turned negative, only to register some recovery during the latter part of the day. But the recovery could not be fully sustained, market analysts said. Market volatility could be traced to the worry among traders that the Chinese government is yet to respond
positively to the Sri Lankan government’s debt restructuring plan, although the Chinese Exim Bank responded positively to the IMF bailout proposition, analysts said. Stock market mid- day shares fell on
profit- taking after the market had continuously been on green after debt restructuring assurances by major creditors, an analyst said. “However, the anticipated rate cut wasn’t met and the
market over- reacted and moved to red, the analyst added.
Amid those developments both indices indicated a downward trend.The All- Share Price Index went down by 11.5 points and S and P SL20 declined by 2.78 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.2 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Melstacorp, where 594,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 29.7 million, its shares traded at Rs 50 and Horana Plantations 300,000 shares crossed for Rs 21 million, and its shares traded at Rs 70. In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 269 million (1.3 million shares traded),Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 147 million (1.3 million shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 122 million (eight million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 71.9 million (158,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 54.4 million (289,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 41.9 million (six million shares traded) and JKH Rs 41 million (298,000 shares traded). It is said that high net worth and institutional
investor participation was noted in Agstar, Melstacorp and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in LOLC Finance, Browns Investments and Softlogic Capital.
The Materials sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Agstar), while the sector index gained 0.18 per cent. The share price of Agstar increased by 50 cents (3.23 per cent) to
close at Rs.16. The Diversified Financials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to LOLC Holdings), while the sector index increased by 2.16 per cent. The share price of LOLC Holdings appreciated by Rs. 21.75 (5.11 per cent) to close at Rs. 447.25. During the day 41 million share volumes changed hands in 14000 transactions.
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