Saudi Electricity Co Q4 net loss widens on costs

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Saudi Electricity Company reported a sharply wider fourth-quarter net loss on Sunday, partly on costs related to workers who have been let go by the utility.

The company said it had a net loss of SAR1.09bn (US$290.7m) in the three months to December 30, compared with a loss of SAR514m in the same quarter in 2011.

One analyst at EFG Hermes had forecast a loss of SAR750m, according to a Reuters survey.

Saudi Electricity's shares were down 1.08 percent on the Saudi stock exchange in early afternoon trade.

"The reason for the rise in net losses for the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier is due to the rise in costs of non-recurrent programs to improve production," the statement said, referring to future commitments for people who have left the company.

The partly state-owned monopoly holder is working to restructure its operations pending further privatisation of its operating units.

Operating losses narrowed by 2 percent to SAR622m from SAR636m in the same period a year earlier.

Its results are highly seasonal due to the wide variation between summer and winter electricity demand in the sweltering desert kingdom. The utility benefits from very cheap energy feedstock supplied by Saudi Aramco.

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