Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) disclosed on the Tadawul exchange of 29 January that its net profit for 2019 was SR1.415bn ($375mn), down 20% on 2018’s SR1.757bn ($469mn). The decline came despite a 1.5% increase in total revenues to SR65.040bn ($17.34bn) from SR64.064bn ($17.08bn) for 2018. State-led generator and grid operator SEC attributed the decrease in net profits to lower electricity sales resulting from consumption rationalization, coupled with higher depreciation costs and finance charges.

SEC’s profits were initially boosted after Riyadh hiked electricity tariffs at the beginning of 2016 (MEES, 8 January 2016). The utility’s net profits peaked at SR6.91bn ($1.84bn) in 2017, but have since fallen due to changing consumer behavior (see chart). (CONTINUED - 115 WORDS)