- Group profit after tax increases by 25% YoY
- Revenue grew by 6% YoY mainly due to the surge in broadband revenue
- Capex expenditure investment of Rs. 14.5 b, FY 2020
- Direct and indirect taxes including levies totalling Rs. 17.1 b paid
|SLT Group Chairman Rohan Fernando
|SLT Group Chief Executive Officer Lalith Seneviratne
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) Group concluded financial year 2020 on a high note, with a significant 25% YoY growth in profit after tax to Rs. 7.9 billion, despite many challenges faced by the Group arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Group revenue climbed to Rs. 91.1 billion for the year with a 6% YoY growth, strongly underpinned by higher broadband revenue propelled by the accelerated fibre expansion program and growth in mobile broadband services. Revenue for PEOTV and carrier services also advanced during the year.
SLT Group increased EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) by 16% YoY to Rs. 34.7 billion in FY 2020, leading to a higher EBITDA margin of 38% compared to 35% in the previous year, mainly achieved through successful cost management measures.
Group revenue for Q4 2020, rose by 4% QoQ to Rs. 24.0 billion, recording the highest quarterly revenue achieved for FY 2020. The operating profit for the quarter increased by 27% compared to the same quarter of the previous year reaching Rs. 1.9 billion, a decline of 33% compared to 3Q 2020. The Group profit after tax for the quarter reported at Rs. 1.1 billion, a drop of 48% QoQ, mainly due to the higher operating costs and adverse impact from fluctuation in foreign currencies.
Mobitel Ltd., the mobile arm of the SLT Group managed to grow its revenue despite adverse macroeconomic conditions prevalent in 2020. Mobitel reported a strong profitable growth due to simultaneous growth in revenue and reduction in operational expenditure. Mobitel revenue for FY 2020 stood at Rs. 43.2 billion, up by 8% compared to FY 2019. Backed by the growth in revenue and aptly supported by operational efficiencies, Mobitel was able to record significant growth in all key profitability indicators. The Company recorded Rs. 3.1 billion improvement in EBITDA, an increase of 23% YoY. EBIT increased by Rs. 2.6 billion in FY 2020 which is an increase by 50% compared to FY 2019. Mobitel recorded its highest ever profit after tax of Rs. 4.9 billion in FY 2020, an increase by 54% YoY.
The Group paid a total amount of Rs. 17.1 billion as direct and indirect taxes including levies to the Government in FY 2020.
SLT Group Chairman Rohan Fernando announced: “Our financial results for 2020 have yet again demonstrated SLT Group’s resilience and success in providing essential telecommunication services to the country and community, notwithstanding unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful to all our frontliners and staff for providing uninterrupted services to the country during challenging times. I am also very appreciative of the strong support given by the Government and will continue to work closely with the Government to support the national digitalisation initiatives through many initiatives. In year 2021, we will focus on enhancing quality in our services and strengthening our strategy in fulfilling our customers’ needs.”
SLT Group Chief Executive Officer Lalith Seneviratne remarked: “We commenced 2021 with brand unification of SLT-Mobitel which is another milestone in SLT Group’s legacy. The joined forces of SLT and Mobitel allows us to unify our capabilities and enhance our market brand presence and trust in the market place. In mid-2021, SLT-Mobitel aims to launch a pre-commercial 5G service using 3.5 GHz. Further, we have established a research and development centre to accelerate innovations in the Group and maintain our edge in the market.”
SLT Chief Executive Officer Kiththi Perera stated: “Being the national telecommunications provider in Sri Lanka, we strive to provide our services nationwide by extending our footprint to rural areas, thereby reducing the digital divide between urban and rural areas with the support of the Government. During the pandemic, SLT Group offered uninterrupted services to the community including concessionary education packages to students and for Work-from-Home arrangements. In response to business and community needs, we have introduced many digital channels for customer services, smart home solutions and a trading platform for agriculture products. As a responsible corporate citizen, SLT-Mobitel powered the ‘Park & Ride’ city bus service by joining hands with the Sri Lanka Transport Board and was also involved in many corporate social responsibility activities including distribution of dry rations to the needy. In addition to five submarine cables through which we are presently connected to the world, we are proud to inform that we will invest in the upcoming SEA-ME-WE 6 submarine cable system in 2021.”
Mobitel Acting Chief Executive Officer Chandika Vitharana added: “Year 2020 is marked by formidable and unexpected challenges which impacted the global economy as well as economies of individual countries and Sri Lanka was not spared. Yet Mobitel thrived in these trying conditions and recorded a vibrant performance recording the highest profits ever in its 27-year history. In line with the Government’s vision of digitising Sri Lanka, Mobitel aggressively embarked on implementing rural connectivity solutions in the rural areas of the country. In a year the vital importance of technology was felt by people of all walks of life, we made it our duty to extend our superior technology solutions with more vigour to all Sri Lankans.”