DUBAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) reported an 18.2 percent increase in third quarter profit on Thursday that it said was boosted by a reduction in costs.
The former monopoly made a net profit of 2.62 billion riyal ($698.65 million) in the July-September period compared to 2.2 billion riyals a year earlier, according to a bourse statement.
The average forecast of four analysts polled by Reuters was for a quarterly profit of 2.28 billion riyals.
STC, which competes in Saudi Arabia with Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Zain Saudi, said the cost of revenue fell by 1.72 billion riyals in the third quarter.
Revenue from services dropped 8.5 percent to 12.84 billion riyal.
STC, which owns stakes in operators in the Gulf, Turkey and Asia, said in a separate statement that its board had proposed a cash dividend of 1 riyal per share for the third quarter.
$1 = 3.7501 riyals Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair