Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) says that its net profits rebounded in the fourth quarter of last year to LKR707 million (USD4.56 million), helped by margin gains and an absence of forex losses, but full year net income declined 17.7% year-on-year to LKR4.3 billion. The fixed line, mobile (Mobitel) and pay-TV services provider booked Q4 2017 revenue of LKR19.35 billion, up 6.7% y-o-y, as FY 2017 revenues increased 2.6% to LKR75.7 billion, despite what SLT termed the challenges on mobile revenue due to indirect taxes levied on mobile usages. Group operating profit stood at LKR3.9 billion, down 31.6%, due to a significant increase in depreciation and amortisation related to ‘continuous investments of the group in expansions and introduction of new technologies [which] have escalated depreciation and amortisation. Meanwhile, earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) improved by 5.4% y-o-y to LKR21.2 billion, as a result of revenue growth and minimum escalation of operational costs, which edged up 1.6% to LKR54.5 billion.
SLT largely invested in LTE, FTTH, IPTV, global connectivity and mobile services, and noted that its investments also included: the expansion of the country’s National Backbone Network; the launching of its newly built state-of-the-art Tier 3 Data Centre – the first ‘Purpose built tier 3 Data Centre’ in the country; officially commencing services on the SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea cable system; and completing its newly established cable landing station in Matara (3Q17).