From left: Rohan Fernando- Group Chairman-SLT, Lalith Seneviratne- Group CEO-SLT, Kiththi Perera- CEO-SLT and Chandika Vitharena- Acting CEO-Mobitel
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, 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, 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, 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, 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.”
SL youth eligible for employment in Korea, to get the opportunity shortly
The Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka Woonjin Jeong assured the Foreign Minister that the facilities required for the Sri Lankan youth who are eligible for employment in Korea to travel to Korea will be provided shortly. He was speaking at a discussion on the delays faced by young people who are eligible for jobs in Korea, chaired by the Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Foreign Ministry on 16 June, 2021. State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Priyankara Jayaratne, Secretary to the State Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Market Diversification Suntharam Arumainayaham, Chairman Kamal Ratwatte, Director Nimal Thibbatumunuwa and Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya of the Foreign Employment Bureau were also participated in the discussion.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that those who have qualified for jobs in Korea have been expecting to leave for jobs in Korea for a long time; however it has been avoided day by day due to the COVID pandemic. The Minister also pointed out that they are under severe mental stress due to this.
The Korean Ambassador to Sri Lanka explained the position of the Korean Government and stated that it has been planned to provide employment opportunities in Korea to all those who are eligible for employment in Korea. He said there is a delay in providing those opportunities due to the COVID pandemic; however assured that he is focussed on sending them to Korea at the earliest available opportunity.
Sterilizer device launched in Sri Lanka
At a time when the Covid-19 epidemic is spreading around the world, you will no doubt be happy to hear that those invisible germs that collect in such a closed environment can now be destroyed by a small device called STERIONIZER introduced to Sri Lanka by ABC Trade & Investments.
This small device has made life easy for many as you can clean your home or any other place (specially closed environment) by plug-in the STERIONIZER.
STERIONIZER system keeps air ducts, air heat exchangers and machinery clean and supplies sanitized air in enclosed areas and each ionizing device is completely maintenance free and connected to a data-bus for supervision and monitoring.
STERIONIZER is priced at Rs. 35,000. Phone 070 3 525 525 or 070 1 853 529 for more information.
Indian assistance to implement solar power project
It is expected to provide financial benefit to low-income households
Measures have been taken to increase the contribution by renewable energy sources to the national power grid by enhancing solar power generation as per the National Policy Framework.A key plan of the Government is to generate solar power by obtaining the contribution of state-owned buildings, places of worship and houses of the low-income families.
It is expected to provide financial benefit to low-income households and to curtail the expenses incurred by the state institutions for electricity, from the project. Steps will also be taken to provide facilities to store solar energy in batteries for the low-income families that are unable to access the national power grid.
The project also includes generating power by installing floating solar panels as a solution to land scarcity. Under the first phase of this, plans have been initiated to generate electricity required for the Parliament centering the Diyawanna Lake as a model project.The Government of India, one of the main stakeholders of Sri Lanka for this project, has entered into a bilateral loan agreement by agreeing to grant a Line of Credit amounting to US$ 100 million through the Export Import Bank of India.The agreement for the Line of Credit signed by the Sri Lankan Government and the Export Import Bank of India was exchanged between Finance Secretary S. R. Attygalle and Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and State Minister Duminda Dissanayake at the Presidential Secretariat recently.
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