Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the country’s leading telco in terms of subscribers, has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2013 on the Saudi Stock Exchange’s (Tadawul’s) website, reporting a 37% surge in profit to SAR9.987 billion (USD2.66 billion) up from SAR7.276 billion reported in 2012. The company attributed the improvements to increased revenues and operational efficiencies, which resulted in a decline in operating expenses by SAR1.295 billion compared to the same period a year ago. STC’s revenue for the period amounted to SAR45.602 billion, a 2% improvement on the SAR44.745 billion reported in the twelve months to end-December 2012. Further, the company’s EBITDA also improved, growing 8.3% year-on-year, to SAR17.417 billion.
STC chairman and managing director Abdulaziz Al-Sugair commented: ‘The strong financial results achieved during 4Q13 and full year 2013 reflects the efforts being made to constantly evolve, improve and develop the company strategy and operations both domestically and internationally. We continue to maintain an acute focus on reinforcing our presence in our home market and make all resources available in order to capture share of this growth. At the same time, we continue to rationalize STC’s international portfolio, and evaluate options for some of these investments in order to take appropriate actions in the best interest of the shareholders.’
In operational terms, STC continued the expansion of its 3G/3.5G network footprint to cover over 96% of the country’s populated areas, while also expanding the coverage of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. As a result, wireless broadband revenues grew more than 80% during 2013 compared to the previous year. In the period under review, STC’s fibre-optic network reached more than 830,000 households, while users of bundled services also grew during the quarter, up 4% y-o-y.