Saudi Telecom beats estimates with flat third-quarter profit

Gulf's No 1 telecom operator says it made net profit of nearly $900m in three months to Sept 30
Saudi Telecom beats estimates with flat third-quarter profit
By Reuters
Mon 27 Oct 2014 07:33 PM

Saudi Telecom Co (STC), the Gulf's No.1 telecom operator by market value, reported a flat third-quarter profit on Monday, beating estimates.

The firm, which competes domestically with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi, made a net profit of SR3.37 billion ($898 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, down from SR3.39 billion in the prior-year period.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast STC, which own stakes in operators in the Gulf, Turkey, South Africa and Asia, would make a quarterly profit of SR2.93 billion.

STC, which owns stakes in operators in the Gulf, Turkey, South Africa and Asia, said that quarterly profit fell slightly because it paid SR151 million more in tax than in the same period last year.

The state-run company's board has approved a third-quarter dividend of 1 riyal per share.

Third-quarter wireless broadband revenue rose 22 percent year on year, STC said, though it did not reveal what this amounted to in riyals.

For the first nine months of 2014, STC made a net profit of SR8.57 billion, up from 6.36 billion riyals the previous year, when it took impairments of SR1.1 billion relating its Indian investments and an Indonesian unit it later sold.

Nine-month revenue for its international subsidiaries rose 18 percent, mainly from its Bahrain and Kuwaitbusinesses.

Third-quarter revenue rose 3 percent. It did not elaborate further, but revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was SR11.43 billion, according to Reuters data.

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