Sri Lanka Dialog to invest US$150mn in expansion

Sri Lanka:Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata, the islands largest mobile operator said it will invest 150 million US dollars in expansion bringing the total foreign direct investments by the firm to 1.2 billion US dollars.

Dialog Axiata chief Hans Wijayasuriya said the new investments in part will to go strengthen its broadband and fiber optics network coverage.

“We will focus a lot of it in broadband, mobile broadband as well as fiber optics,” Wijayasuriya said.

“We want to make our products available seamlessly across the country.”

The firm started in 1994 and now has 7 million subscribers in a market which had over 15 million subscribers.

In the December quarter Dialog Axiata group reported profits of 1.275 billion rupees up from a loss of 2.2 billion a year earlier but slightly lower than the 1.69 billion rupees in the September quarter.

Full year group profits were 5.0 billion up from a loss of 12.2 billion.

Wijayasuriya said there was a foreign exchange gain in the September quarter and some accounting adjustments in the final quarter but underlying revenues were growing steadily and costs were contained.

At the core mobile firm revenues rose to 9.8 billion rupees in the December quarter from 9.67 billion a quarter earlier. December quarter company revenues were up from 8.9 billion a year earlier.

Dialog said it had notched up 7.0 million subscribers so far in a 15 million plus mobile market in the country which it shares with Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel.

In addition to the core mobile firm Dialog has operations in broadband, fixed voice and pay television.

The firm has also incorporated a unit to get into business process outsourcing.

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