26th March 2011, www.island.lk
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has become the first Sri Lankan group in the country to achieve the milestone of Rs.50 billion turnover having crossed this landmark in 2010, the company’s Chairman Mr. Nimal Welgama has said in the company’s annual report.
"Given the strategic focus we have instituted in all our areas of business and the emphasis we have constantly infused in ensuring that our end objectives and trades are met or exceeded, it is indeed noteworthy that we have posted a profit of Rs.3.9 billion and turned the company around to be a sustainable, profit making going concern," he said.
The year ended December 31, 2010 saw SLT posting group revenue of Rs.50.25 billion, up from Rs.48.1 billion a year earlier while company revenue at Rs.33.3 billion was down marginally from Rs.34.1 billion posted a year earlier.
Group profit after-tax at Rs.3.94 billion was up from the previous year’s Rs.778 million while at company level, SLT posted a profit of Rs.2.48 billion, up from Rs.1.23 billion the previous year.
Welgama said that SLT was now "Future Ready", having rolled out its national backbone based on Multi-Protocol Label Switching technology in readiness for next generation network services and standards.
With Mobitel, its wholly owned subsidiary, covering the mobile segment, the group had over 85% market share in fixed and mobile broadband areas.
"In addition to being prudently diversified, we are ready to take on the complex challenges of an economy that has long harbored the vision of becoming an ICT hub," he said.
"While physical infrastructure is being established, connectivity remains the key to holistic development."
Despite SLT being one of the biggest market capitalized companies in the country, the free float of its share remains below 3% - with 54 million shares owned by about 15,000 investors.
The Sri Lanka Government and connected parties and Global Telecommunication Holdings NV of the Netherlands, a partner of Malaysia’s Maxis group, hold more than 97% of the issued share capital of the company.
The Secretary to the Treasury with 49.5% of SLT is the biggest shareholder followed by Global Telecommunication Holdings (44.98%), EPF (1.05%) and the Life Fund of the SLIC (0.98%). Other major government shareholders of SLT included NSB (0.73%), Ceybank Unit Trust (0.49%), ETF (0.18%) and the General Fund of the SLIC (0.18%).
SLT has a stated capital of Rs.18.05 billion, total group assets of Rs.87 billion and group liabilities of Rs.37.18 billion.
The SLT Board has recommended a first and final dividend of Rs.0.60 per share which will absorb Rs.1.08 billion. The payment is subject to approval by shareholders at an AGM to be held on March 28.
The directors of the company are: Messrs. Nimal Welgama (Chairman), Sandip Das, Chan Chee Beng, Jeffrey Jay Blatt, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Shaamendr Rajapaksa, Kalinga Indatissa, Lawrence Paratz and Dayananda Widanagamachchi.
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