Sri Lanka Telecom profits up in Dec on lower income tax

ECONOMYNEXT- State-owned Sri Lanka Telecom Plc (SLT) reported a 39.7 percent growth in net profits to 1.3 billion rupees in the December 2019 quarter from a year ago, helped by deferred taxes.

SLT, which is Sri Lanka’s largest fixed-line telephone and broadband operator, reported earnings per share of 74 cents in its interim financial statements filed at the Colombo Stock Exchange.

For the 12 months ended December, SLT earned 3.50 rupees per share, up from 2.74 rupees, on gross net profits of 6.32 billion rupees.

The share opened trading at 29.30 rupees on Monday.

SLT group sales grew 3.4 percent to 22.08 billion rupees in the quarter from a year earlier, while cost of sales grew at a faster 12 percent to 12.8 billion rupees, leading to gross profits falling 7.7 percent to 9.29 billion rupees.

Interest costs grew ninefold to 667 million rupees and interest income nearly tripled to 428 million rupees, while foreign exchange losses fell 44.6 percent to 385 million rupees.

Long-term borrowings at end-December grew 26.5 percent to 49.18 billion rupees, while short-term borrowings fell 26.3 percent to 12.5 billion rupees.

Profits before tax fell 25.3 percent to 1.24 billion rupees. Income tax costs fell 86.4 percent to 95 million rupees.

The group deferred tax liabilities grew 14.7 percent to 7.5 billion rupees.

The SLT asset base grew to 206.24 billion rupees from 180.44 billion rupees

The interim accounts showed pre-tax profit from fixed ICT operations falling 91.9 percent to 85 million rupees on revenue of 11.58 billion rupees, up 4.57 percent.

Fixed ICT includes telephone, broadband, digital TV and enterprise solutions.

Pre-tax profits from the group’s mobile operations arm Mobitel fell 10.9 percent to 1.1 billion rupees on revenue of 9.93 billion rupees, down 3.7 percent.
(COLOMBO/Mar03/2020)

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