Alkanhl reiterated stc’s commitment to promote local content and SMEs in order to stimulate the economy in the local market and drive demand to local products and services in accordance with the Council of Ministers’ decision in this regard. Stc announced that it will continue to nurture start-ups and entrepreneurs through batches six and seven of its inspireU program which will be announced in the coming days as part of stc’s strategy to promote local content through its Rawafed program which contributed SR 4 billion to promote local content in the past years. Alkanhl also nodded to stc’s initiative to exempt SME’s that wish to temporarily suspend services from the temporary suspension fees in line with the government’s direction and to mitigate the financial burden that could impact this vital sector in light of the current circumstances.
Alkanhl said that stc is proud of its role in the success of the first virtual G20 summit in which it acted as the digital enabler in partnership with the relevant government entities. Stc sent over 2.5 billion messages in 10 languages to millions of citizens and residents to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, and doubled the operational capacity in 22 health centers as part of a SR 100 million community initiative that benefited about 5 million patients. In line with its constant support for entrepreneurs and innovation to enable digital transformation and enrich the community in accordance with the Dare Strategy, stc supported a number of initiatives including the Hope Hackathon initiative in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The VP of Corporate Affairs said that the engagement included various community segments including individuals and the public and private sectors. Stc offered free access to education and health platforms and doubled the data capacity for its existing and new prepaid quicknet customers without additional cost, ensuring a quality experience for our children in using such platforms which led to a 1,000% increase in traffic for education platforms and 200% for health platforms. The Company also offered 40 thousand free data sims to support the Attaa “Digital Giving Initiative” and exempted customers in quarantine from paying their April bills. Alkanhl said that stc exempted its customers in quarantine from paying their April bills and offered a 50% discount for fiber optics services to reduce the cost for the network users during this period."]]>
- Revenues for the 1st quarter reached SR 13,935m with an increase of 4.10% compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
- Gross Profit for the for the 1st quarter reached to SR 8,196m with an increase of 3.71% compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
- Operating Profit for the 1st quarter reached to SR 3,004m with a decrease of (8.27%) compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
- Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Zakat, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) for the 1st quarter reached to SR 5,330m with a decrease of (1.04%) compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
- Net Income for the 1st quarter reached to SR 2,913m with an increase of 5.93% compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
In accordance with the approved dividend policy for three years starting from the 4th quarter 2018, which was announced on 16 December 2018, and has been ratified during the Extra Ordinary General Assembly Meeting on April 24th 2019, stc will distribute a total of SR 2,000 million in cash dividend for Q1 2020, representing SR 1 per share. The eligibility of dividends shall be for the shareholders at the close of trading on Tuesday 28/04/2020 corresponding to 05/09/1441 H and as per the registered shareholders in the register of The Securities Depository Center Company at the end of the 2nd trading day following the eligibility date. Dividend distribution date will be on 19/05/2020 corresponding to 26/09/1441H.
Commenting on these results, Eng. Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, GCEO of Saudi Telecom Company (stc), indicated that the company, despite the emerging epidemic conditions of the Corona Virus (COVID-19), was able to grow its top line by 4.1%. As a result, stc’s business units achieved distinct growth in revenue during the current quarter compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Where the increase of Enterprise Business Unit revenues were supported by innovative products in the field of Internet of Things, cloud computing and Cyber security in addition to other telecom products and services. Further, the Wholesale Business Unit revenue also increased supported by the growth witnessed in Hubbing services. As for Consumer Business unit, revenue has increased with the support of an increase in fiber optic subscribers by 23% and data revenue by 15.5%.
As a testimony of KSA global leading position in communications infrastructure in general, and in digital communications in particular, KSA was successfully ranked number 10 globally (coming from number 105) in the internet speed in 3 years only. On top of that, stc’s internet speed has increased 7 times over the past 3 years. stc winning two Speedtest Awards for the fastest mobile network, and best mobile coverage in the kingdom in 2019, shows the company's commitment to provide the best services to its customers. In addition, stc won the Customer Experience Management Award for 2020 after competing with the largest global telecom operators.
Part of our journey for digital transformation and enriching customer’s experience, paper contracts had been dispensed and 7 million contracts on annual basis were digitized which in return will contribute to save around 200,000 hours of customers waiting time annually. In addition, stc is expanding in the telecom towers infrastructure by building new towers in the Kingdom while at the same time keeping-up with the technological progress such as 5G and the requirements of improving the network and increasing its speed. Also, the Saudi digital payments company (stcPay) obtained the official license from the Saudi Arabia Agency (SAMA), as an electronic digital wallet in the field of financial technology (fintech), to be the first financial technological company licensed in the kingdom. stcPay is considered the largest financial digital wallet in the Middle East and North African region with 2 million customers.
Lastly, what we are living nowadays under the unfortunate conditions to combat the COVID-19 virus, motivates us to continue our daily work proactively by taking the necessary actions and decisions to provide all our capabilities to actively handle the situation and reaffirm stc’s position as a national operator and the first enabler for digital transformation. As a result, stc has increased the network’s capacity to its maximum levels by distributing traffic in accordance with the increasing demand. It has also enhanced the telecom services and their capacity, and provided urgent services to several entities to enable digital transformation for all sectors. On another side, stc provided 40,000 free internet SIM cards as part of its “Attaa Digital” initiative to support those who cannot access the Internet and educational platforms as well as enabling a free access to some educational and health platforms. Furthermore, recently stc has announced that it will bear the cost of the temporary service suspension fees for SMEs who wish to temporarily suspend their services as part of the company’s efforts to mitigate the financial impacts that may affect this vital sector. In addition, stc extended the payment grace period for customers and likewise doubled the data capacity without any additional charges for its existing and new customers to support the educational process and enable employees of government and private sectors to fulfil their work duties in light of the precautionary measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Part of its social responsibility, stc sent more than 2 billion awareness COVID-19 messages in 10 different languages. Currently, we are conducting a comprehensive study on the potential effects on the company's business in the event that the Corona pandemic continues, based on the measures and decisions taken to combat it. Any expected impact after conducting the study will be announced through the official channels in due course."]]>
Eng. Riyadh Saeed Muawad, Senior VP of Enterprise Business Unit at stc, explained that the four digital initiatives that were launched by stc include the “Virtual Clinic,” service which provides communication between patients and doctors, and the EMI service for managing, storing, and displaying medical images easily and remotely to achieve the highest quality in health facilities. The two remaining initiatives are “Tari’” and “Fawran”. The first allows doctors and medical healthcare staff to activate notifications in a manner the surpasses any other traditional system, and the second allows customers who are in businesses that deal with field, security, or emergency operations to communicate safely through PPT (push-to-talk) method.
“These initiatives are part of the company’s efforts as a digital enabler and are in line with Saudi Vision 2030 to digitize the infrastructure of the healthcare sector and provide suitable services to facilitate and automate the work of our healthcare heroes so that we may overcome all challenges brought about by this crisis,” he added. Eng. Riyadh highlighted that these services are also a part of a package of services provided by stc as a digital enabler in order to offer digital, smart, and innovative solutions across the government and private sectors to ensure continuity of work and access to all customers and clients.
The “Virtual Clinic” service, which is provided through cloud computing solutions in stc, offers a medical bag to measure the patient’s vital signs at their place of residence. Through this service, doctors would be able to view and interpret a patient’s results and provide medical advice to the patient seamlessly and accurately through a video call.
The EMI service organizes the collection and retrieval of medical images either across departments of the same healthcare facility or between several healthcare facilities in an integrated manner and with the right information systems. This leads to improving the patient’s experience and reducing the time needed by medical staff to issue medical imaging reports in a way that helps them make medical decisions effectively and flexibly. The service also serves several geographical locations using cloud computing to provide data transfer and security to all beneficiaries.
“Tari’” service improves sending notifications and enhances reliability. The service operates through a range of notification channels that can be customized and activates. These include the e-application, SMS messages, e-mails, machine communications, and Tera SDS. All of these channels save time, increase effectiveness, and assist medical facilities accelerate the time needed to provide healthcare for emergency cases.
Lastly, “Fawran” service has several special and intelligent features such as private or group conversations and excellent service coverage that ensures connection quality regardless of network traffic. "]]>
This jump in speed is a result of network expansion operations and 5G investments that continued throughout quarantine to accommodate the growing increase of demand on digital platforms, and to ensure an enriched customer experience. It reflects also growth on social media by 86% and 130% growth of demand on applications of remote meetings.
On Eid day, voice calls carried out on the network increased by 41% and international call increased by 30% on both mobile and fixed lines. Also Messages increased by 48% compared to last year.
These numbers reflect the reliability of stc’s network and its huge infrastructure, in addition to its commitment to playing a pivotal role as a major enabler for digital transformation in accordance with Vision 2030, especially in this time, which witness data traffic increase by 400%.
It also reflects the remarkable interaction with the free offer on Eid day that offered unlimited social media access in addition to unlimited local calls on all networks with 100 minutes of calls to stc Kuwait and Bahrain. "]]>