Saudi Telecom Company (stc) has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2019, reporting a marginal 0.2% decrease in net profit to SAR10.755 billion (USD2.866 billion) from SAR10.780 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier. The company attributed the negative result to a SAR479 million increase in cost of revenues and an increase in depreciation and amortisation expenses by SAR1.207 billion due to the continuous investment in 5G and fibre network infrastructure. In the period under review, stc reported a 4.6% improvement in revenues to SAR54.376 billion (SAR51.963 billion in 2018), while EBITDA reached SAR21.281 billion, up 7.3% y-o-y from SAR19.836 billion. stc noted, however, that the reported results do not include the financial impact of stc’s direct ownership (8.88%) in Careem after Uber’s acquisition.
Eng. Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al Nasser, stc Group CEO, stated that the company’s strategy to invest in new and diversified domains along with the excellent performance from all stc’s subsidiaries and business unites, supported by the increase in the number of mobile and fibre-optic customers and data revenue, led to an increase of 4.6% in the company’s annual revenue. Further, the executive added that the continuous infrastructure investment resulted in the deployment of more than 2,300 5G towers during 2019, while the number of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) customers increased by 23% y-o-y in 2019, thanks to the expansion of the fibre-optic network, which spanned 217,000km by the end of 2019.