April 21, 2013 / 3:30 PM / 4 years ago

Saudi Telecom Co posts 38.5 pct fall in quarterly net profit

RIYADH, April 21 (Reuters) - Saudi Telecom Co (STC), the Gulf's No.2 telecom operator, reported a 38.5 percent year-on-year plunge in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, far below market expectations, after taking charges relating to an affiliate in India.

The firm, which remains majority government-owned nearly a decade after being listed, made a net profit of 1.55 billion riyals ($413 million) in the three months to March 31, down from 2.52 billion riyals a year earlier.

The company said in a separate statement, also posted on the website of the Saudi bourse, that it would distribute first-quarter dividends of 0.5 riyals per share.

STC was expected to post a profit of quarterly profit of 2 billion riyals, according to the average forecast of analysts polled by Reuters. (Reporting by Angus McDowall; editing by Jason Neely)

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