State-owned Saudi Telecom
(STC) reported a 11 percent fall in first-quarter net
profit due to bonus salaries ordered by King Abdullah, missing
analysts' average estimates.
The firm made a net profit of SR1.573 billion in
($419.5 million) the three months to March 31, compared to 1.772
billion in the year-earlier period, according to a bourse
statement on Tuesday.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected Saudi Telecom to
make an average of SR2.04 billion in net profit.
STC blamed the profit fall on extra salary costs of 375
million riyals under handouts ordered by the king since his
return from sick leave abroad in February.
"Without this cost ... there would have been a 10 percent
rise of profit compared to the same quarter last year," STC
King Abdullah has given handouts worth around $130 billion
for citizens, among them two extra salaries for state employees,
in a bid to insulate the kingdom from Arab protests.
Revenues rose by 4 percent to SR13.07 billion in the
quarter, it said, citing a rising number of clients and market
Earnings per share fell to 0.79 riyals from 0.89 riyals in
the same quarter a year ago.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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