STC announces 2003 profit hike of 140%

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has reported its net profits for 2003 soared 140% to SR8.5 billion (US$2.27 billion).

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By  Patrick Phelvin Published  February 14, 2004

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has reported its net profits for 2003 soared 140% to SR8.5 billion (US$2.27 billion). Revenues in 2003 rose 16% to SR27 billion (US$7.2 billion). The company’s chief executive and chairman, Khaled Al-Melhem, said the board had approved a dividend of SR22 (US$5.87) per share for 2003. Al-Melhem said the “marked improvement in results was due to a big increase in the number of subscribers and the company’s efforts to cut operating costs.” This was achieved despite “reducing mobile service tariffs and spending SR700 million (US$186 million) on an upgrade program,” he said. The government of the Kingdom has set up the Saudi Telecommunications Commission, a regulatory body to supervise the liberalisation and opening up of the sector. STC is the largest listed company on the Saudi bourse. The company’s shares closed on Thursday up 1.7% on the week. Saudi Arabia has been liberalising its telecom sector. It partially privatised STC when it floated 30% of its shares. The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) will invite bids for the Kingdom’s second GSM license soon.

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