ECONOMYNEXT – Profits at Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata grew 41 percent to 3.4 billion rupees despite a foreign exchange losses as the island’s soft-peg with the US dollar came under pressure from money printing, interim accounts showed.
Dialog group reported earnings of 42 cents per share for the quarter. In the year to December the group reported earnings 1.48 rupees per share, on total profits of 12.0 billion rupees, up from 10.7 billion rupees.
Gross profits grew 5.6 percent to 13.6 billion rupees in the quarter with revenues rising 8.7 percent to 32.2 billion rupees and cost of sales growing at a faster 11 percent to 18.5 billion rupees.
Dialog Broadband grew revenues 19 percent to 8.9 billion rupees in the quarter, the firm said.
Administration costs grew from 5.5 billion rupees to 5.6 billion rupees and depreciation fell to 374 million rupees from 429 million rupees.
However in the year to December extra depreciation was charged due to early impairment of equipment.
Finance costs rose to 763 million rupees from 639 million rupees, with a 329 million rupee forex loss as Sri Lanka rupee fell against the US dollars.
Analysts have called for Sri Lanka’s central bank to reformed or abolished so that it cannot print money and depreciate the currency permanently.
Sri Lanka’s central bank has the worst record in South Asia, depreciating the rupee from 4.76 to the US dollar (1 to 1 with Indian rupee) after Pakistan, which has busted its rupee to 156 to the US dollar since independence from British rule.
Dialog said its revenue grew amid Coroanvirus lockdowns, though it had given discounts to customers. (Colombo/Feb20/2021)