Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) said in a press release that Fitch Ratings has upgraded its ratings to “A+” from “A”, on par with the national sovereign rating.

SEC CEO Eng. Khaled Al-Gnoon said in the release: “We are pleased with this positive upgrade of SEC’s credit ratings, which stands as a testament to the efforts and investments we continue to make to bolster the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid. This improved rating is reflective of our best-in-class governance, our close alignment with the Ministry of Energy and the Kingdom's decarbonization strategy, and our solid financial profile. We are committed to maintaining our service excellence and fulfilling our pivotal role in powering Saudi Arabia's future.”

According to Fitch Ratings, the upgrade was driven by several key factors, including "recognition of SEC’s robust decision-making, strong government support, and alignment with national policy". It said: "The government’s 81% ownership, strategic oversight, and SEC's key role in the Kingdom's decarbonization efforts underscore this support."

"The upgrade recognizes SEC’s stable financial profile, which is secured by the conversion of SAR168 billion of SEC's liabilities into equity-like instruments, the company’s leverage headroom and strong cash flow visibility, and its crucial role in the Kingdom's energy plans," the release said.

In Q1 2024, SEC ramped up growth plans with a capex program deploying SAR10.5 billion in capital investments in the company's generation, transmission, and distribution projects, "reaffirming the company's steadfast dedication to accelerating investments in its grid infrastructure to meet the expected increase in demand for electricity".

According to the company, SEC reported SAR15.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of this year, a 9.1% year-on-year increase in EBITDA, to SAR6.8 billion, and an 87% year-on-year increase in net profit, to SAR897 million.