|01-20-2015, 04:21 PM||#1|
Saudi Telecom Q4 profit falls 33%; Biyari to take over from Al Sugair as CEO
Saudi Telecom Co (STC), Saudi Arabia’s leading telecommunications operator, posted a 32.6% fall in fourth-quarter profit, as a one-off gain from a government property deal came to nothing against higher investment losses and expenses.
STC earned SAR2.44 billion ($649.8 million) in the three months ending December 31, compared with SAR3.62 billion in the corresponding period in 2013.
Net profit also missed analysts’ forecasts of SAR3.32 billion.
A 19% surge in expenses was the reason behind the profit decline, STC said in a late-Monday bourse statement.
A one-time impairment worth SAR399 million on its stake in Dubai operator Oger Telecom, in addition to another SAR164 million accounting-related loss, offset gains of nearly SAR600 million that the company received as a compensation by the government for expropriation of land and buildings in Riyadh.
The company, however, announced it will be increasing dividends to SAR1 per share for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with SAR0.75 per share for the same period of the previous year.
STC Chairman Abdulaziz Al Sugair reiterated that the company was reassessing its international portfolio, but without providing any more details. The company has stakes in telecom operators in Turkey, South Africa, Asia and the Gulf.
STC lately has been shifting its focus to the domestic stage, under the new Chairman who started in June 2012, which until recently, has helped the company regain profitable ways.
STC, therefore, has announced that Khalid Biyari will take over from Al Sugair in April as chief executive.
Under Al Sugair, the company reported fourth consecutive quarters of over 50% profit after just one year as chief, However, the profit growth has weakened, with a near-flat year-on-year number in the third quarter and a sharp fall in the fourth.
Now that the former monopoly has turned its fortunes in Saudi Arabia, a new vision could be in the books under Chief Khalid Biyari.
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