Saudi Telecom Q2 profit nearly doubles, beating forecasts

DUBAI, July 21 Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:22am EDT

DUBAI, July 21 (Reuters) - Saudi Telecom Co (STC), the Gulf's biggest telecommunications operator by market value, reported a 96 percent surge in second-quarter profit on Monday, beating analysts' estimates because of a change in the valuation of an Asian divestment.

The firm, which competes domestically with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi, made a net profit of 2.80 billion riyals ($747 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 1.43 billion riyals in the prior-year period.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast STC, which own stakes in operators in the Gulf, Turkey, South Africa and Asia, would make a quarterly profit of 2.65 billion riyals.

The group changed the valuation of last year's sale of a majority stake in Indonesia's Axis from a 598 million riyal loss to a 41 million riyal gain, resulting in the second-quarter net profit rise, it said. (Reporting by Nadia Saleem; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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