Saudi Arabia’s utility provider ACWA Power, partly owned by the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), posted full-year 2023 net profit of 1.66 billion riyals ($443 million), up 8% year-on-year on higher operating income.

The figure beat analysts’ average forecast of SAR1.47 billion, according to LSEG data.

Operating income before impairment loss and other expenses was SAR2.98 billion and 14%, versus 2022.

Revenue was 16% higher at SAR6.09 billion versus SAR5.27 billion in the year-ago period, ACWA said in a regulatory filing to Riyadh's Tadawul exchange on Thursday.

CEO Marco Arcelli said he expects 2024 to be the first full year of execution for the new growth strategy with its new and increased targets.

"We know we have ambitious tasks to deliver across our business verticals in multiple geographies including China, where our teams are conducting due diligence on 5 to 8 identified projects, and I expect us to announce the first one in a few months."

Dividend and bonus 

ACWA's board approved a dividend payment of SAR 329.0 million (SAR 0.45 per share) for the year 2023, payable in 2024.

The board also recommended a capital increase via bonus shares issues in the ratio 1:500 through capitalization of SAR 14.6 million from the retained earnings.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)