Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2016, reporting a 7.8% decrease in net profit to SAR8.539 billion (USD2.27 billion) from SAR9.258 billion reported in 2015. The company attributed the negative result mainly to a SAR2.474 billion year-on-year increase in cost of services (due to the government’s biometric registration process), and a SAR387 million increase in operating expenses. In the twelve months to end-December 2016, STC reported revenues of SAR51.845 billion, a 2.4% increase y-o-y on the SAR50.651 billion booked in 2015. EBITDA however, decreased in the period under review, to SAR18.256 billion, down 5.4% from SAR19.294 billion.
Meanwhile, in related news, STC has reportedly offered a loan of roughly SAR600 million to the Turkish unit of its 35%-owned subsidiary Oger Telecom – which alongside Turk Telekom has interests in South Africa (Cell C), plus several internet operations (branded Cyberia) in Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – Bloomberg writes. Oger is understood to be in negotiations with creditors ahead of its next loan payment deadline in March 2017, after missing a USD300 million payment on a USD4.75 billion loan in September 2016. TeleGeography notes that Oger’s Turkish unit secured the syndicated loan in 2013 from a consortium of domestic and international banks to reschedule and refinance debt and pay a dividend.