Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) the leading Digital Lifestyle Service Provider in Sri Lanka, concluded the financial year 2019 on a high note, with 28% YoY growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) at Rs. 6.3 Bn. The impressive growth was strongly underpinned by the increase in revenues by 6% YoY recorded at Rs. 86 Bn. The Group’s robust plans directed at achieving strong performance amidst the market competition paved the way to attain positive contributions in all key business segments of fixed and mobile broadband, global business, career domestic, enterprise intelligent business solutions, PEO TV services, national backbone services and digital services whilst managing the operational efficiency.
The Group’s EBITDA rose to Rs. 30.0 Bn reflecting a 17% increase compared with the year before, improving the EBITDA margin to 34.9% from 31.4% in 2018 due to the improved revenues and operational efficiency. The Operating Profit grew by 12% YoY reaching Rs. 8.5 Bn in the year under review. The interest cost increased by Rs. 1.8 Bn to Rs. 2.0 Bn as a result of increased borrowings to finance the growing capital expenditure in order to align with the global technological trends and fulfilling the changing customer demands. The FOREX loss was managed at Rs. 443 Mn for the year from Rs. 1.8 Bn in 2018 as a result of the reduction of foreign currency denominated borrowings and effective hedging strategies. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) stood at Rs. 8.2 Bn, a 15% YoY growth. SLT Group paid over Rs.25 Bn Direct and Indirect taxes and other contributions to the Government of Sri Lanka during the year 2019.
Mr. Rohan Fernando, the Group Chairman, commented, “2019 was yet again a tremendous year to SLT demonstrating a remarkable financial performance, managed with an eye towards not only on the short-run, but on the long-run as well. The strength of the Group lies on the expertise, commitment and the loyalty of the management team and the staff. The telecommunication industry continues as an attractive sector, whilst changing customer preferences and rapid technological trends bringing both challenges and opportunities. Innovative thinking, eagerness to change and capability to invest in new technologies lead to thrive in the new digital marketplace. I’m confident that SLT will reach new and greater heights in 2020 and in the years ahead”.
The Holding Company recorded a 98% YoY impressive growth in PAT at Rs. 3.8 Bn. The revenue grew by 6% YoY reaching a milestone of Rs. 50 Bn for the year. EBITDA increased to Rs. 16.5 Bn, improving the EBITDA margin to 32.9% from 28.4% in 2018. The Operating Costs before depreciation were reduced slightly by 1% during the year. The improvement of revenue coupled with operating cost efficiency pushed the Operating Profit up to Rs. 3.4 Bn, 82% YoY growth. Reduction in FOREX losses by Rs. 886 Mn and increase in interest income by Rs. 296 Mn contributed positively on the profits while increase in interest costs by Rs. 597 Mn impacted negatively. The PBT rose by 51% YoY to Rs. 4.8 Bn in 2019.
Mr. Kiththi Perera, Chief Executive Officer of the Holding Company, stated, “The ongoing accelerated Fiber Expansion Project under the National Fiberization Program will increase the fibre footprint across the Country targeting consumer, enterprise and government sectors. Further, we are in the process of increasing the 100 Mbps speed of FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) connections to 1 Gbps to provide an ultra-speed experience to our valued customers. The forthcoming deployment of 5G technology in Sri Lanka will immensely improve the Career Business of SLT by utilizing the transport network by other operators which lies across the Country. Through our digital journey towards a SMART Sri Lanka, we intend to reach everyone in the Country at least through one of our services, lifting the lifestyles of all stakeholders involved while continuing the meaningful impact we have made in lives of people. We always focus on being in the business with a responsibility extended towards all our stakeholders”.