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)