STC's profit soars in first quarter
Saudi Arabian telco posts 60% rise in profit in Q1
STC, Saudi Arabia's incumbent telecom operator, posted a 60% increase in profit in Q1 2012 compared to the same period last year. The telco's net income during Q1 reached SR 2.5 billion ($66m) compared to SR 1.6 billion for the first quarter last year. STC's Q1 profit rose by 8% compared to Q4 2011.
Revenue from services in Q1 rose by 12% to reach SR 14.68 billion compared to SR 13.08 billion in Q1 2011.
Gross profit for Q1 amounted to SR 8.4 billion compared to SR 7.5 billion for the corresponding quarter last year, representing an increase of 13%.
STC's operating income for the quarter increased by 19% to reach SR 3.2 billion, compared to SR 2.7 billion for the corresponding quarter last year.
Basic earnings per share for the quarter amounted to SR 1.26, compared to SR 0.79 for the corresponding period last year.
STC attributed the rise in profit to the 12% increase in operating revenue, which came as a result of growth in all of the group services revenue, including PSTN, ALJAWAL (mobile), the business sector and wholesale.
The telco also said that an "overall improvement in operations efficiency" contributed to the increase.
Earnings before interest, taxes, zakat, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first quarter amounted to SR 5.4 billion, compared to SR 4.8 billion for the corresponding quarter last year, an increase of 12%.