Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the Gulf's number one telecom operator, reported a 25 percent jump in third-quarter profit, missing market expectations.
The increase in net profit was because of growth in broadband and business sector services as well as higher revenue from international operations, Saudi Telecom said on Saturday.
The former monopoly made a net profit of SAR1.95bn (US$520m) in the three months to September 30, compared with a forecast for SAR2.42bn in a Reuters poll.
Operating income rose 0.5 percent to SAR3.02bn and revenue from services increased 8 percent to SAR15.1bn.
It will pay a dividend of SAR0.50 per share, totalling SAR1bn, out of third-quarter profit.
Soaring demand for broadband has lifted earnings in recent quarters, with STC offering bundle packages to woo customers back from rival operators Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) - an affiliate of UAE operator Etisalat, and Zain Saudi - part-owned by Kuwaiti group Zain.
STC, which remains majority government-owned company nearly a decade after bring listed, is the largest Gulf telecom operator by market value, with operations across the Muslim world from Indonesia to Turkey.For all the latest GCC 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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