Saudi Electricity Co Q4 net loss widens on energy costs
Higher energy costs hit utility; Net loss wider than analysts' expectations
January 18, 2012 1:58 by Reuters
State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) reported a wider fourth quarter loss on Wednesday, citing higher energy costs, and missing analyst forecasts, the firm said in a bourse statement on Wednesday.
SEC made a net loss of 514 million riyals ($137 million) for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 324 million riyals in the prior-year period.
Two analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast a net loss of 155.3 million riyals and 432.72 million riyals.
“The reason for the decline in profits over the past twelve months is due to higher costs of consumption and purchased energy and the reason for the net loss in the fourth quarter is due to the rise of consumption costs,” the statement said.
Operational loss for the third quarter rose by 53 percent to 665 million riyals from 435 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil exporter, is struggling to keep up with rising power demand, which is rising 7 to 8 percent annually amid a growing population of over 27 million.
The company, which has an installed capacity of 50,000 megawatts, plans to boost its capacity to at least 80,000 megawatts by 2020.
SEC said in December it plans to launch a transmission subsidiary this month as it splits up into six companies to encourage competition.
After the restructuring, SEC will be a holding company and will retain full ownership of the six companies, which include four power generation firms, one firm for distribution and another for transmission. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Amran Abocar)