Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has published its financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2014, reporting a 34.6% surge in net profit to SAR8.566 billion (USD2.28 billion) up from the SAR6.364 billion reported in the corresponding period of 2013. The company attributed the improvements to a number of factors, including: a non-recurring and non-cash charge of SAR1.104 billion from revaluation of STC’s investment in Asia (SAR500 million related to deconsolidation of Aircel and SAR604 million losses resulting from assets held for sale related to Axis [Indonesia] in 2Q13) and a decrease in losses from investments by SAR1.534 billion in the nine months to 30 September 2014. STC reported that its revenue for 9M14 amounted to SAR34.260 billion, a marginal 0.2% decrease on the SAR34.334billion reported in the nine months to end-September 2013. Despite that, the company’s EBITDA improved, growing 11% year-on-year, to SAR14.380 billion.
In operational terms, the telco pointed out that its 4G population coverage passed the 85% mark in 3Q 2014. STC continued with the deployment of its fibre-optic networks, and as a result fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) customers increased by 30% in the year to end-September 2014, and 16% on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
STC chairman and managing director Abdulaziz Al-Sugair commented: ‘The strong financial results achieved during the third quarter and the nine months period reflects the efforts being made to constantly evolve, improve and develop the company strategy both domestically and internationally. Despite all challenges and developments in the countries where we operate, STC managed to achieve continuous and consistent growth in acquiring market share… With the important role of the telecommunications sector in transitioning the county to a digital society, STC continues to play a major role in bringing the latest technology and services to our clients. This will improve and enhance STC’s position domestically and will positively impact the future performance of the company, generating higher returns to the shareholders.’