Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the country’s leading telco in terms of subscribers, has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2013 on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, reporting a 73.3% surge in profit to SAR3.386 billion (USD902.86 million) from SAR1.954 billion reported in 3Q12. The company attributed the increase to an improvement in operational efficiencies, which resulted in a decline in operating expenses by SAR907 million compared to the same period a year ago. STC’s EBITDA for the period amounted to SAR4.975 billion, a 22% increase on the SAR4.064 billion reported in the corresponding quarter of 2012. STC chairman and managing director Abdulaziz Al-Sugair commented: ‘The strong financial results achieved during the third quarter reflect the efforts being made to constantly evolve, improve and develop the company’s strategy both domestically and internationally. We maintain an acute focus on reinforcing our presence in our home market while at the same time we will continue with the rationalisation of STC’s international portfolio and continue with evaluating options for some of these investments in order to take the appropriate actions in the best interest of the shareholders.’
In operational terms, STC continued expanding the footprint of its 3G/3.5G networks; the coverage of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network also increased to 76% of the populated areas. The company reported that more than 7,250 LTE-enabled sites were on air by end-September 2013, while more than 750,000 locations were covered by the company’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network at the same date. The ongoing network expansion has also led to a 76% increase in the number of ‘InVision’ (IPTV) subscribers in 3Q13, while STC’s fibre-optic subscribers increased by 146% at the same date. Fixed broadband subscribers during the quarter also grew, by 6%, compared to 3Q12.