Dialog’s subscribers up 31% year-on-year; costs impact earnings

15 Aug 2008

Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s largest cellco by users, has reported that its subscriber base grew by 31% year-on-year to reach 4.8 million customers at the end of June 2008. In the first six months of the year, consolidated group revenue rose by 13% year-on-year to LKR18.27 billion (USD179 million), with growth restricted by tariff reductions and other affordability strategies implemented by Dialog in late 2007. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of LKR5.33 billion in the six-month period represented a decline of 26% compared to the LKR7.24 billion recorded in the first half of last year, which the company attributed to cost increases driven in the main by general inflation, energy derived costs and expansion of the company’s mobile, fixed and IP-based network infrastructure. 1H net income was impacted even harder by the rising costs, falling 66% year-on-year to LKR1.64 billion. The CDMA-based fixed line service operated by group subsidiary Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN) signed up a total of 112,730 subscribers by the end of June, up 56% quarter-on-quarter. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, DBN launched commercial WiLL services over its 450MHz CDMA2000 1x-based network at the beginning of July 2007 under the Dialog 7 brand. DBN also provides WiMAX-based broadband internet access, launched in November 2007, and reported 1,589 WiMAX subscribers at the end of June 2008.

Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata