Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has released its group and company financial results for the first quarter of the year, highlighting an 8.5% year-on-year increase in group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to LKR6.1 billion (USD38.8 million), due to efforts to control rising costs while sustaining revenue growth; the group EBITDA margin stood at 30.8%, compared to 30.1% in 1Q17. Consolidated revenue in 1Q18, meanwhile, stood at LKR19.8 billion, up 5.9% y-o-y, while operating costs reached LKR13.7 billion (+4.7%) as SLT invested heavily in its networks and services – undermining its bottom line. Further, the telco said that group depreciation and amortisation swelled by LKR512 million in real terms – up 12.8% when compared to January-March 2017 – to LKR4.5 billion, which impacted on group operating profit which was down to LKR1.58 billion from LKR1.62 billion previously. SLT’s capital expenditure programme was focused, it said, on developing new technology and providing for capacity expansion of its LTE, FTTH, IPTV, global connectivity and mobile services, to cater for the expanding customer base and provide a greater range of services. In addition, SLT is investing in the expansion of National Backbone Network, the launch of its newly built state-of-the-art Tier 3 data centre, the SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea cable system, and the newly established cable landing station in Matara.