DUBAI, May 8 (Reuters) - Jarir Marketing, one of Saudi Arabia's largest retailers, reported a 26.5 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Monday on rising sales of smartphones.
It made a net profit of 221.4 million riyals ($59.04 million) from January to March, up from 175 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.
Four analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Jarir would make a quarterly net profit of 179.65 million riyals.
The board recommended a quarterly cash dividend of 2.2 riyals per share, it said in a separate statement.
The company said the improvement was due to an increase in sales of smartphones as it took a bigger share of the market as well as lower selling and distribution costs.
Turnover in the first quarter was 1.7 billion riyals, up 20.3 percent on the same three months of 2016.
Like other Saudi companies, Jarir Marketing reported its results under international IFRS accounting standards for the first time, so some of its figures for last year were restated.
$1 = 3.7503 riyals Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens