x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Broadband demand plugs Saudi's STC and Mobily into profit stream

Greater broadband use behind boost in second-quarter profits for Saudi Telecom Company and Mobily.

Greater demand for broadband services led to a bumper second quarter for Saudi Arabia's largest telecoms operators, STC and Mobily.

The companies reported higher profits for the second quarter on the back of greater use of the internet, and a rise in sales of web-enabled smartphones.

Saudi Telecom Company said its second-quarter net income rose to SAR2.256 billion, a 9 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Revenue growth was "mainly attributed" to an increase in broadband customers used fixed-line and mobile connections, STC said in a statement to the Saudi bourse.

Mobily reported net income of SAR1.164 billion in the second quarter, a growth of 29 per cent on the same period last year. Revenues from mobile data now account for 20 per cent of the company's total revenues, up on 17 per cent for the first half of last year.

"The increase in revenues is attributable to higher minutes of usage, data transmission and increase in smartphone sales," Mobily said in a statement to the Saudi bourse. "In spite of the intense competition in data services, data revenues showed a remarkable increase of 46 per cent in the first half of year 2011, as compared to the same period last year."

bflanagan@thenational.ae