It is a singular honour for me to be at the helm of affairs at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) as the country enters a new era of growth and development. Indeed our Company plays an integral role in a developing Sri Lanka, being the country’s pioneer telecom services and its foremost ICT proponent, founded on a heritage of over 150 years serving Government organisations, corporate customers, SMEs & microenterprises and households.
The telecommunications sector remained a highly competitive slice of the world economy. The online world continued to expand in 2014, driving the expansion of telecom networks and services. Around the world, telecom authorities and firms continued to roll-out and deploy broadband networks and services to position themselves and their countries for future competitiveness. With SLT leading the way, Sri Lanka was no exception to this trend.
In terms of performance, the SLT Group did well to maintain growth momentum in the face of rising costs. The Group earned revenues of Rs. 65.04 billion for the year 2014, a 8% increase over the previous year. All revenue streams – fixed, mobile and others – contributed to this increase, which was the more remarkable considering that Group operating costs, too, grew by 12% over the same period. The Group reported a total profit before tax of Rs. 8.25 billion, amounting to a year-on-year increase of 12%. Profit after tax increased by 11% to reach Rs. 6.0 billion.
SLT’s strategic focus remains strongly aligned to the national agenda. Complementing the country’s ICT transformation journey, SLT is committed to serve as a catalyst in establishing the national communications backbone and future IT infrastructure, which will serve as the foundation of nearly all other economic sectors. We have been working assiduously over the years building capacities and capabilities to be able to fully support the national vision of bringing forth a SMART Sri Lanka. Performance of subsidiary companies will be reviewed and the activities will be accelerated to meet these national goals.
Our entire ICT infrastructure programme is based on Sri Lanka’s development goals. One of those goals is the further development of the BPO and KPO industries as contributors to the national product. SLT’s breakthrough cloud computing service, akaza, provides end-to-end enterprise services that offer corporate customers, Government departments, SMEs and microenterprises the advantages of enhanced agility, quick service delivery and cost efficiencies while providing maximum ROI and improved scalability.
Our commitment to sustained investment in new technologies will remain undiminished. This will, amongst other areas of benefit, enable us to continue to support the enhancement of Sri Lanka’s global connectivity. The resultant exponential growth in demand for data both locally and internationally would enable Sri Lanka to leverage its strategic geographical location to boost the national economy.
The Company is fully-committed to a regime of co-operation and support towards our regulators. We are truly appreciative of the favourable regulatory environment which has enabled the realisation of rapid industry growth in line with the national vision. We will continue to strengthen our relationships with all regulatory bodies, leading public institutions and the private sector in the ensuing year.
In closing I wish, on behalf of all stakeholders, to thank and pay tribute to the outgoing Chairman of SLT, Mr. Nimal Welgama for his tremendous efforts, leadership and contributions to the Company. I also extend my deep appreciation to Mr. Lalith De Silva, and thank him for his valuable contribution to the Company during his tenure as the Group Chief Executive Officer. Our Company is in good hands under the leadership of our new Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dileepa Wijesundera, who will add great value to the SLT Group and take it to even greater heights. I sincerely thank the members of the Board of Directors, all staff members and our valued stakeholders.
I have every confidence that SLT will continue to deliver strong results for all our stakeholders, whilst also ensuring sustainable growth and greater contribution to both the society and environment.
P. G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena
In complementing the country’s ICT transformation journey, our commitment to sustained investment in new technologies will remain undiminished.