Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has reported a 16% year-on-year rise in consolidated operating profit (EBIT) to LKR5.01 billion (USD38.5 million) in the first nine months of 2012, on group revenues which increased by 12% to LKR42.07 billion. Net profits declined by 11% to LKR2.90 billion, although if excluding currency exchange losses at its mobile division Mobitel, the bottom line would have risen 26% to LKR4.33 billion. The fixed network division posted nine-month revenue of LKR25.82 billion, up 7% year-on-year, while net profit increased by 3% to LKR2.70 billion, with growth driven by fixed broadband, IPTV, wholesale, enterprise and international services. Demand for broadband and IPTV had the knock-on effect of boosting SLT’s fixed wireline telephony customers (copper-based, excluding fixed-wireless) by 6% year-on-year to 985,752 at 30 September 2012. SLT noted that increases in the International Telecommunication Levy and energy costs have contributed to a significant increase in operating costs which had an impact on profit growth. Mobitel reported that for the first nine months of 2012 revenues grew by 14% to LKR18.2 billion compared to the same period in the previous year, mainly driven by subscriber base growth; EBITDA and EBIT grew by 20% and 30% respectively during the period under review, achieved via growth in revenue coupled with initiatives for cost optimisation and productivity improvements, the group’s statement said.