Profit boost from Hajj pilgrim roaming charges
Saudi Telecoms Company (STC) reported a net profit of SR3.3bn ($880m) for its third quarter. This is an increase of 38 per cent year-on-year and a 61 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter caused by the high roaming revenues from Hajj pilgrims during Ramadan.
Revenue growth was more modest at a 2 per cent increase year-on-year to SR13.2bn.
The company’s finance costs have soared 116 per cent since the previous quarter to SR731m, although debt levels have stayed around the same.
STC has expressed an interest in bidding for the third Syrian mobile licence. If successful, it could prove to be a profitable unit as penetration levels in Syria are just 48 per cent.