Results roundup: Sri Lanka Telecom, XL, Hutchison AU

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Aug 2009

Sri Lanka Telecom's net profit fell 57% year-on-year in the first half of 2009, even as revenue grew 1%.

The company posted a profit of just 1.35 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($11.8 million), on revenue of 23.58 billion rupees.

Despite the decline, SLT heralded the result as a positive. “In spite of the adverse economic scenario and critical financial conditions prevailing worldwide, SLT has been able to show resilience to weather the storm,” group chair Leisha De Silva Chandrasena said.

She added that the declines were on par with those felt by the top players within the APAC region.

Wireless division Mobitel recorded a revenue growth of 40% over 1H 2008, as the company added 1.2 million subscribers. But Mobitel's operations contributed to a “significant increase” in expenditures, SLT said.

The company added that its total subscriber base reached five million by the end of the reporting period. It estimates Sri Lanka's total telecom penetration to be 75%, with mobile penetration reaching 60%.

Meanwhile, Indonesian operator XL said its net income grew 12% over the same period, thanks to 7% higher revenue and favorable exchange rates.

The company benefited from a 95% increase in forex gains, which jumped to 425 billion rupiah. Excluding this boost, normalized net income fell 56%.

XL recorded a first-half net income of 706 billion rupiah ($71.3 million), compared to 631 billion rupiah in 1H08.

Revenue grew 7% to 5.83 trillion rupiah. While non-voice service revenue grew 12%, voice services grew just 1%.

Active prepaid mobile subscribers grew 8% to 21.8 million. But blended ARPU fell 23% to 32,000 rupiah, with prepaid customers contributing to almost all of this decline. By contrast, postpaid subscribers fell 22% to 372,000, but postpaid ARPU fell just 1%.

MOU, meanwhile, grew 113% year-on-year to 41 billion minutes.

In Australia, the merger between 3 and Vodafone Australia has allowed 3 parent Hutchison Australia to post a $552 million first-half profit, the Australian said.

Hutch made A$587.3 million from the merger, which was completed in early June. Excluding the sale, Hutch would have posted an A$35.3 million net loss – still an improvement on the $85.4 million loss from a year before.

Revenue grew nearly 20% to A$912.5 million, with mobile broadband revenue leaping 45.2% to $303 million. Total ARPU slumped 7.8% to A$62.62, mobile broadband ARPU climbed to $21.18.

JV Vodafone Hutchison Australia now has a combined 6.31 million subscribers.

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