Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the kingdom's biggest mobile operator, reported a net profit of 4.9 billion riyals ($1.31 billion), 38% higher year-on-year (YoY).

The net profit far exceeded analysts’ mean estimate of SAR 3.98 billion, according to LSEG data.

Revenue rose 11% YoY to SAR 18.11 billion in the third quarter, the telecom operator said in a statement published on the Saudi stock exchange.

The total fixed subscribers fell marginally by 0.18% YoY to 5.55 million in Q3 2023. However, mobile subscribers rose 9.12% YoY to 25.60 million.

Net profit jumped 17% YoY to SAR 11.02 billion in the first nine months of 2023, as revenue hit an all-time high of SAR 54.61 billion, rising 9.1% YoY.  

Operating expenses rose by SAR 1.28 billion due to the telco’s continued investment in new domains.

Capital expenditure rose to SAR 6.23 billion in the first nine months of 2023 compared to SAR 5.03 billion a year ago.

In a separate filing, the telco declared a dividend of SAR 1.99 billion for Q3 2023, or 4% per share, payable on November 11, 2023.       

(Editing by Brinda Darasha;