SEC's Q4 net loss swells to 25.6%

2009 Q4 net loss worse than predicted as SEC revises comparative 2008 figures.
SEC's Q4 net loss swells to 25.6%
By Souhail Karam
Mon 18 Jan 2010 07:28 PM

Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) posted a bigger than expected 25.6 percent net loss in the fourth quarter, hit by the cost of expansion and rising energy prices.

The Gulf's largest utility by market value reported a net loss of $136 million in the three months to end December, from a $108.2 million loss a year earlier, the firm said in a statement on the bourse website.

Analysts had forecast of Saudi Electricity's fourth quarter loss to be between 467 million and 31 million, according to a Reuters survey earlier this month.

SEC appeared to have revised down the net loss figure for the fourth quarter of 2008, which it initially reported to be 436 million riyals.

It said "some comparative figures for 2008 have been adjusted to be in conformity with 2009 figures". It did not elaborate.

SEC said: "One of the reasons behind the increase in fourth-quarter losses is a rise in depreciation costs after new projects started production in addition to an increase in the costs of purchased energy."

For all of 2009, SEC's net profit rose 5.5 percent to $311.9 million or $0.07 per share.

Operating profit for all of 2009 rose 8.1 percent to 826 million riyals.

SEC shares have gained 8.4 percent since the start of 2010 against 4.7 percent for the Saudi stock exchange's benchmark measure. (Reuters)

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