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Saudi Telecom Beats Estimates With Flat Q3 Profit

Saudi Telecom Beats Estimates With Flat Q3 Profit

The company made a net profit of SAR3.37 billion ($898 million) in the three months to Sept. 30.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC), the Gulf’s No.1 telecoms operator by market value, reported flat third-quarter profit on Monday, beating estimates despite paying higher taxes than a year ago.

The company, which competes domestically with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi, made a net profit of SAR3.37 billion ($898 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, down from SAR3.39 billion a year earlier, STC said in a bourse filing.

The consensus forecast from analysts polled by Reuters was for a quarterly profit of SAR2.93 billion.

STC, which owns stakes in operators in the Gulf, Turkey, South Africa and Asia, said that quarterly profit fell slightly because it paid SAR151 million more in tax than in the same period last year.

The state-run company’s board has approved a third-quarter dividend of SAR1 per share.

Third-quarter wireless broadband revenue rose 22 per cent year on year, STC said, though it did not reveal what this amounted to in riyals.

For the first nine months of 2014, STC made a net profit of SAR8.57 billion, up from SAR6.36 billion the previous year, when it took impairments of SAR1.1 billion relating its Indian investments and an Indonesian unit it later sold.

Nine-month revenue for its international subsidiaries rose 18 per cent, mainly from its Bahrain and Kuwait businesses.

Third-quarter revenue rose three per cent. It did not elaborate further, but revenue in the third quarter of 2013 was 11.43 billion, according to Reuters data.

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