STC agrees to buy Oger stake, sees 10% rise in profit

21 Jan 2008

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has agreed a USD2.6 billion deal to acquire a 35% stake in Oger Telecom, the Lebanese-controlled firm which has interests in telcos in South Africa (Cell C), Turkey (Turk Telecom) and Romania (Zapp), plus internet operations in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. STC made its first foray into the international telecoms market last year with its purchase of a 25% stake in Malaysia’s Maxis, which also has interests in Indonesia and India. STC has also won Kuwait’s third national mobile concession and hopes to launch its first services there later this year.

Meanwhile, STC has reported a 9.6% increase in profits for the three months to the end of December to SAR3.05 billion (USD813.3 million). Analysts polled by Reuters had been forecasting fourth-quarter net income of between SAR3.22 billion and SAR4 billion. Operating revenues for the quarter increased from SAR7.82 billion in 2006 to SAR9.64 billion in 2007. STC said mobile subscriber numbers rose 22% in the fourth quarter of 2007 though it did not give an end-year customer total.

Saudi Arabia, Cell C, Saudi Telecom Company (stc), Turk Telekom, Zapp (Romania)