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Saudi Electricity Q3 profit up on lower costs
November 6, 2017 / 8:52 AM / a month ago

Saudi Electricity Q3 profit up on lower costs

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Nov 6 (Reuters) - State-controlled utility Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) reported a 6.8 percent increase in third-quarter net profit on Monday due to falling costs as the company improves efficiency.

The company made a profit of 5.26 billion riyals ($1.40 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, according to a bourse statement, up from a net profit of 4.92 billion riyals a year earlier.

The utility, which the government is aiming to restructure to improve efficiency, cited higher operating revenues from seasonal sales.

SEC’s results are acutely seasonal because of the big swing between power demand in winter and summer when high temperatures lead most homes and businesses to use more air conditioning.

Like most Saudi publicly listed firms, SEC adopted IFRS accounting standards in January this year. The company said some of its figures have been restated as a result.

In 2016, the Saudi government started to raise electricity, water and fuel prices to alleviate the burden of subsidies on its budget.

Saudi officials have, however, said the increase in prices will unlikely change the projected growth in demand.

A second wave of electricity and fuel price hikes is likely to be delayed. It was expected this year.

SEC has said the price changes would roughly balance out in its earnings, as the rise in costs associated with higher fuel prices would be offset by increased electricity sales.

The authorities have planned to break up SEC into four parts as part of a drive to improve its efficiency. The process is being reviewed and expected to see some progress next year. ($1 = 3.7524 riyals) (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, editing by Louise Heavens)

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