RIYADH: Saudi Telecom Co. has posted profit exceeding SR12 billion ($3.2 billion) for the first time in its history.
The telecommunications firm reported an 8 percent increase in its net profit to SR12.17 billion for 2022.
Total revenues gained 7 percent to SR67.43 billion in 2022 from SR63 billion in 2021.
According to a statement to Tadawul, the company said that the higher profit was driven by an increase in revenues of SR4.42 billion, which was offset by a slight increase in the cost of revenues by SR824 million due to the reversal of the contingent liability provision in an amount of SR1.07 billion.
The company’s board of directors on Monday declared a 4 percent cash dividend, or SR0.40 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2022, doling out SR1.99 billion. The dividend will be paid on March 16.
“The year 2022 was a year of successes and achievements, as the group delivered on many initiatives and investments that had a positive and clear impact on increasing and diversifying the group’s revenue through expanding its business in the Kingdom and the region,” said Olyan Mohammed Alwetaid, group CEO of stc, told the Saudi Press Agency while commenting on the results.
Operating expenses rose by SR1.63 billion, as general and administrative expenses increased by SR837 million, with “selling and marketing expenses” and “depreciation and amortization” expenses rising by SR524 million and SR277 million, respectively.
Earnings per share also increased 7.6 percent to SR2.43 from SR2.26.
Meanwhile, the net profit after zakat and tax for the fourth quarter of 2022 grew 6 percent to SR2.8 billion from SR2.6 billion in the year-ago period.
The telecom operator sought to diversify its investment portfolio by launching several companies in cloud computing, the internet of things and digital infrastructure.
“These investments are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which will contribute to strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a main digital hub in the region and the world and will support the group’s profitability and growth in a sustainable manner and line with the group’s vision and ambitious DARE 2.0 strategy,” said Alwetaid.
Last October, the company committed an additional $300 million to Saudi venture capital firm STV on top of an earlier $500 million investment to raise digital champions in the region.
“This additional investment reflects stc’s future vision and its significant contribution to the digital transformation in Saudi Arabia and beyond and deepens the group’s focus on innovation and technological development in the Kingdom and the MENA region,” he added.