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SLT Group topline surpasses Rs. 100 billion, recording Rs. 12.2 billion Profit After Taxes



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) Group, the National ICT Solutions Provider, concluded the financial year 2021 on a high note, recording a turnover of Rs. 102.3 Bn for the year ended December 31, 2021 marking a topline growth of 12.3% year-on-year. The Group’s sustained growth resulted in a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 12.2 Bn, a growth of 54.3% as compared to the previous year.

Group profits were propelled forward by robust performances by multiple business segments. The EBITDA of the Group grew at 16.6% during the period on the backdrop of Operating Profit growth of 19.0%. SLT’s sustained investment on expanding fiber connectivity (FTTH) and significant expansions and upgrades in the 4G/LTE network resulted in the surge in Broadband revenue during the year. Further, SLT experienced a revenue growth in PEO TV in a market receptive to quality education and entertainment options online, expanding to hitherto untapped markets during the year under review. Xyntac, the Global unit of SLT-MOBITEL adds strength to the overall business, with the investment in the new SEA-ME-WE 6 cable, set to elevate Sri Lanka’s global connectivity capacity to the next level. The state-of-the-art data center that bolsters the digital capabilities of SLT-MOBITEL, and the Akaza multi-cloud platform too continue to add value to the company.

SLT Group Chairman, Rohan Fernando stated, “Looking back on 2021, I can proudly say that we have achieved way beyond what we expected and closed the year with an all-time best record in every aspect may it be financial, corporate governance or above all else national responsibility. The principles we diligently adhered to on zero corruption, waste control, high efficiency and inclusive management has helped overcome all obstacles in 2021. Going forward our new direction will be in meeting competition and enticing customers towards the SLT Group. We will look at the transformation of our business from “Telco to Techno”, to cover many aspects of technology directly involved with our business. Technology companies are the most powerful in the world driving economies and all services essentially required for human beings. We at SLT-MOBITEL are at the center of technology and best positioned to be a driving force in Sri Lanka.”

Group revenue for Q4 2021 grew by 7.5% compared to the same quarter of the previous year to Rs. 25.7 Bn, with the EBITDA and Operating Profit growing by 21.3% and 34.8% respectively. The Group Profit After Tax (PAT) for the quarter climbed to Rs. 3.0 Bn, a 162.9% year-on-year growth.

“The past year was one of discovery and resilience, and one we were all fully invested in. Our growth in all areas is a testament to it. The SLT-MOBITEL brand unification propelled the Group forward, enticing customers to embrace the National Service Provider and to trust in us to provide uninterrupted connectivity despite the challenges we faced as a country. The divesting of our non-core businesses has brought in good results and will now allow us single minded focus on our core businesses, allowing us to propel SLT Group’s to the pinnacle of digital leadership. The Group is passionate to cement our leadership in the industry and meet the competition head on, and with a commitment to inclusive management, we will work as one team to achieve our business goals as SLT-MOBITEL.” Remarked SLT Group Chief Executive Officer Lalith Seneviratne.

The holding company of the Group, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) recorded an impressive 16.0% increase in revenue over the last year reaching Rs. 59.8 Bn. The PAT of the company went up to Rs. 5.9 Bn, reflecting a 45.9% year-on-year growth. The Company saw a heightened growth in revenues from Broadband, PEOTV and Carrier Domestic services during the year compared to the year before.

SLT Chief Executive Officer, Janaka Abeysinghe commented, “Our decision to boldly pursue digitalisation unabated during the pandemic, has stood us in good stead. The people depended on the national ICT solutions provider to give them uninterrupted domestic and global voice and data services and our ability to provide them with that has driven both topline and bottom-line growth in the company. We work to ensure the digital divide continues to shrink, capitalising on our growth with the support of our committed employees, to deliver the best for our customers.”

Mobitel (Pvt.) Ltd., the mobile arm of the Group recorded its highest profits in its 28-year history with a PAT of Rs. 8.0 Bn. marking a growth of 63.8% in PAT year-on-year. The growth was mainly driven by the Broadband segment. Despite the adverse macroeconomic conditions and other challenges, Mobitel recorded a revenue of Rs. 47.1 Bn, a noteworthy 8.7% year-on-year growth compared to the previous year. Mobitel’s post-paid voice revenue and international incoming Voice revenue too reported a considerable growth during the same period. EBITDA increased by 17.7% to Rs. 19.5 Bn, reflecting the growth in revenue and operational efficiencies.

“The Mobitel Team has diligently worked on ensuring it fulfills the need for essential mobile connectivity in Sri Lanka. It is gratifying to see the outstanding results of that hard work, especially given the less-than-ideal macroeconomic conditions we faced. As the only truly Sri Lankan mobile services provider, Mobitel is committed to provide our customers island-wide an enriching voice and data usage experience, ensuring a smooth digital journey for all.” stated Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd, Chief Executive Officer, Chandika Vitharena.

SLT managed to lower its group level borrowings during the year under review. Further, the Group’s Operating cash flows displayed a continuous improvement with a 22.8% increase compared to the previous year. The Group stated that despite forex challenges in the country, the devaluation exposure to the Group was low, with SLT making gains on exchange due to prudent forex management.

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Manudam Mehewara Initiative by Dialog, MAS, Hemas & CBL reach 10,000 families, invites all corporates to Join its countrywide emergency relief mission



Emergency relief is currently being distributed across all 25 districts

In a mission to provide emergency relief to the most vulnerable communities across the country amidst the ongoing economic crisis, the ‘Manudam Mehewara’ initiative reached its first milestone of aiding over 10,000 families in-need.

 Joining hands with like-minded partners including its execution partner Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and independent auditor PwC Sri Lanka, Manudam Mehewara was initiated by Dialog Axiata PLC, MAS Holdings, Hemas Holdings PLC, and CBL Group with the end goal of providing emergency support to over 200,000 vulnerable families and communities across the country that do not have access to essential supplies and basic necessities. ITN, Siyatha, Swarnawahini, TV Derana and Vasantham are also supporting the initiative as media partners.

Emergency relief is currently being distributed across all 25 districts, and the Manudam Mehewara programme will conduct its relief efforts until a sustainable benefit transfer system is established through an effective recovery plan. Manudam Mehewara invites all corporates to join our shared mission to support over 200,000 vulnerable families across Sri Lanka.

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Ninewells Hospital raises awareness on thyroid disease in newborns to commemorate World Thyroid Day 2022



Ninewells Hospital, Sri Lanka’s leading woman and childcare hospital in the private sector, commemorates World Thyroid Day on 25th May by emphasising the significance of early detection and treatment of Congenital Hypothyroidism among newborns in Sri Lanka.

Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT) is a condition affecting infants from birth, and refers to an absent thyroid gland or a thyroid gland that is present but is unable to produce adequate thyroid hormones. On average, 1 in 4,000 babies are born with a severe form of CHT in Sri Lanka, while milder forms can be seen more commonly. If left untreated, the condition can affect brain development as well as normal growth in children and adolescents. Conversely, if detected and treated early, the damaging effects of CHT can be reversed and prevented completely.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading private sector childcare health service provider, we want to draw attention to the serious implications of Congenital Hypothyroidism on World Thyroid Day this year. Congenital Hypothyroidism is a condition which has a detrimental impact on postnatal development. For this reason, early detection and treatment is vital and should ideally begin within the first two weeks after birth,” said Dr. Vibash Wijeratne, Chief Operations Officer and Director, Ninewells Hospital.

In 2021 Ninewells Hospital unveiled a Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) testing facility to support Sri Lanka’s national program for screening newborns for CHT and the country’s vision for a healthier population. Since then, the hospital has carried out over 8,000 tests in 2021 and over 2,000 tests between January and May of 2022.

With the unveiling, Ninewells Hospital became the first in the private sector to introduce a TSH screening machine and became one of the only two hospitals in the country to offer this screening service.

“The screening for CHT is a simple process that is performed using a heel prick test. At Ninewells, the test report following the screening is issued within a short span of three days which is unprecedented in the country. This allows healthcare providers to begin immediate treatment to avoid development impediments in newborns and infants,” Dr. Wijeratne also said.

Ninewells Hospital is Sri Lanka’s premier women’s and children’s hospital in the private sector, providing a variety of specialty services such as Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, and Fertility. The hospital, which is backed by the Access Group of Companies’ visionary leadership, continues to push boundaries and raise the bar for women’s and children’s healthcare in Sri Lanka.

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SL plunges into worst economic contraction in the wake of dramatic currency collapse – CBSL Governor



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lanka will witness the worst economic contraction in its history, as it reels from a currency collapse of the rupee from 200 to 370 to the US dollar and interest rates contracted above 20 per cent, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said.

“Sri Lanka is going through severe fuel shortages and power cuts after the credibility of a soft-peg was broken by mis-targeted interest rates in the course of targeting an output gap (printing money to boost growth) under the Keynesian ideology, Weerasinghe said while addressing the Press Club of the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The event was held at the Colombo Hilton on Monday.

Weerasinghe added: “At this juncture we cannot make normal imports for the next three to six months. Industries are saying there is no raw material. Only essential imports can be made on a priority basis in order to maintain day- to- day activities.

‘Sri Lanka’s economy contracted 3.6 per cent in 2020 amid the Coronavirus crisis and it also contracted 1.5 per cent in 2001, after a soft-peg crisis amid a civil war.

‘The latest failure of the unstable peg with the US dollar came after the Central Bank printed over two trillion rupees over two years to mis-target interest rates, leading to a steep collapse of the currency and a correction of the interest rates back to around 20 to 25 per cent.

‘The economic crisis has also spilled over into a political crisis and social unrest.

‘The rupee’s 2022 fall to 380 to the US dollar from 200 to the dollar is the worst currency crisis created by the soft-pegged Central Bank in its 72- year- old history.

‘The money printing Central Bank created its first economic crisis and output shock in 1953, bringing down growth to 0.7 per cent after triggering a now famous “hartal”.

‘An Exchange Control Act was also enacted in 1952 as the printed money from the newly set up Central Bank scrambled to go out, in a phenomenon that was repeated multiple times over the next 70 years and dragged the country into 16 IMF programs.

‘The unstable Central Bank was set up by a US money doctor in 1950 in the style of Argentina’s BCRA, abolishing a Currency Board that had kept the country stable through two World Wars and the Great Depression, where money printing above the external anchor was outlawed.

‘The worst recorded crises in the country include the 1948 uprising against the then colonial administration which took place after the British railway bubble burst, commodity prices fell and the then colonial government upped taxes. However, there is no information on the economic contraction that year.

‘Sri Lanka’s citizens burnt the houses and property of the elected ruling class on May 9, after the unstable peg collapsed in a botched float where interest rates were not allowed to go up before the float and a surrender rule pushed the rupee down.

‘Interest rates were allowed to go up after my appointment as CBSL Governor and the economy is now slowing and the headlong crash of the rupee peg has slowed.’

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