Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) suffered a net loss in the quarter ended 31 December 2009, but ended the year with a net profit of LKR785 million (USD6.85 million), although this was down 89% from the previous year, Lanka Business Online reports. Group sales in full-year 2009 rose 2% to LKR48 billion, and also climbed 2% to LKR12.2 billion in the fourth quarter, but this did not prevent it making a loss of LKR379 million in October-December. During 2009 the fixed line, broadband and mobile group company introduced new packages for voice customers, expanded broadband and data services, provided more value added services and widened its customer bases. Operating costs went up 21% on an annual basis mainly due to inflationary conditions and provisions made during the fourth quarter of the year on exceptional items, a statement from the telco to the stock exchange said. Mobitel, SLT’s mobile operating unit, also made a loss despite 28% sales growth, as it invested heavily in capacity building, 3G network expansion and branding programmes.