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Saudi Electricity reports loss in Q1

Net loss widens on higher costs and a seasonal low in demand.

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Saudi Electricity hope to make a profit in Q2.
Saudi Electricity hope to make a profit in Q2.

Saudi Electricity Co., the state- controlled power producer, said its first-quarter loss widened on costs from buying power and lower seasonal demand, writes Bloomberg News.

The net loss increased to US$208.5 million from US$205.5 million a year earlier, the Riyadh- based company said in a statement on the Saudi bourse Web site today.

Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's biggest economy, wants to expand generating capacity as its population grows and industrial demand for energy rises. The kingdom will spend $80 billion to raise its capacity and transmission network in the next decade as demand increases to 65,000 megawatts in 2018, from 41,200 megawatts last year.

Saudi Electricity's loss was due to "an increase in energy bought from independent producers to meet an increasing demand," the utility provider said. The company also had costs as projects started. The company's quarterly operating loss increased 1 percent to 888 million riyals.

Second-quarter earnings will be better than this quarter, Chief Executive Officer Ali al-Barrak told Al Arabiya television today. The company has reported profit in the second and third quarters and losses in the first and fourth quarters every year since 2004, according to Bloomberg data.

Saudi Electricity, which is 74 percent owned by the government, wants to raise 7 billion riyals by selling Islamic bonds because it doesn't have enough cash to invest in new capacity, al-Barrak said.
 

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