ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata said net profit fell 42% to Rs1.5 billion in the March 2017 quarter from a year ago on higher costs and foreign exchange losses while sales fell from the previous quarter owing to increased consumption taxes.
The dominant mobile phone operator’s total group sales rose 5% to Rs22.2 billion in the quarter from a year ago, according to interim accounts filed with the stock exchange.
Earnings per share for the March quarter fell to 19 cents from 33 cents the year before. Income tax expenses rose 18%.
“The first quarter revenue contracted 3% relative to Q4 2016 as consumer spending was restrained by increased consumption taxes on communication services spanning mobile, fixed, broadband and pay television,” a company statement said.
Dialog Axiata’s group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) for the March 2017 quarter grew 3% to reach Rs7.2 billion from a year ago.
But group EBITDA contracted 3% quarter on quarter on the back of the drop in sales, the company said. Group EBITDA margin for the quarter was 32.6%.
Dialog Axiata’s group net profit was impacted by an increase in depreciation and net finance cost and forex losses.
However, net profit in the March 2017 quarter grew 24% compared with the previous quarter.
This was “driven by lower non-cash translational forex losses as the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated against the United States dollar by 1.5% in Q1 2017 compared to 2.2% during Q4 of 2016,” the statement said.
(COLOMBO, May 12, 2017)