KUWAIT: Kuwait Telecommunications Company (stc), a world-class digital leader providing innovative services and platforms to customers enabling the digital transformation in Kuwait, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Company's Headquarters - Olympia Mall/West Office Towers on Monday, March 29, 2021, where the attendance represented 70.324 percent from the total shareholders. The AGM was held virtually using the online platform provided by Kuwait Clearing Company and in accordance with the health precautionary measures and procedures issued by the government.

The AGM approved the Board of Directors' and Financial Position's report, the Auditors' report and the Sharia Committee's report for the fiscal year ended on 31 December 2020. The AGM also approved the Audit Committee report and the Corporate Governance report including the Board of Directors' and the Executive Management's remuneration and benefits report for the year ended on December 2020 besides approving all the other items in the AGM agenda.

In addition, the AGM approved the Company's financial statements and the Board of Directors' recommendation to distribute cash dividends of 60 Kuwaiti fils, representing 60 percent of the share's nominal value for the year ended 2020, to all the shareholders registered in the Company's records, on the Record Date, Wednesday 14 April 2021, where the cash dividends will be distributed for the eligible shareholders on the Payment Date, Wednesday 21 April 2021.

stc holds AGM for year ended Dec 31, 2020
stc holds AGM for year ended Dec 31, 2020

The members of the Board of Directors were also elected for the three-year term, whereby the following members were elected:

- Saudi Telecom Company

- The Public Institution for Social Security

- stc Gulf Holding

- stc Gulf Holding 1

- stc Gulf Holding 3

- Kuwait Investment Authority

- Salah Ahmad Meshari Al-Fouzan (Independent Member)

Dr Mahmoud Ahmad Abdulrahman, stc's Chairman, stated: "stc was able to achieve financial and operational achievements that meet the aspirations of company's shareholders which were translated through distributing the highest cash dividends of 60 Kuwaiti fils since the company's inception, despite COVID-19 crisis's negative impacts on the global financial markets in various industries. Whereby, stc took it upon itself to launch a wide range of products that meet customers' demands in that period. As a result, stc has strengthened its position in the market as a leader in the digital and latest technological advances arena driven by the growing demand for the digital services in Kuwait and all over the world.

Since the onset of the crisis, stc has been at the forefront in providing innovative and integrated digital solutions based on the latest technological developments for its customers, individuals and corporates. We have been able to achieve good results throughout the pandemic through adopting a flexible operating model, in addition to being flexible in implementing company's digital transformation strategy.

stc also provided advanced technical solutions in line with the government's expectations and social distancing plan. In order to win the trust of our valued shareholders, we follow a career path that elevates the best global practices to show our ability to deliver good results in both revenues and net profit, also to enhance our operational efficiency.

Despite the 2020 crisis, stc managed to achieve a total revenue of KD 283.2 mn, where EBITDA reached KD 73.4m with an EBITDA margin of 26 percent. As a result, stc recorded a net profit of KD 32.1m. On the other hand, shareholders' equity increased by 3.2 percent at the end of 2020, reaching a book value of 445 fils per share. Furthermore, the Board of Directors has recommended distributing cash dividends of 60 fils per share representing 60 percent of the share nominal value for the year ended 2020.

These results reflect stc's ability to overcome unprecedented challenges represented by the current global pandemic. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the quality of company's strategy and the dedication of each of the Board of Directors, the executive management and its employees. At stc, we are committed to enhance the quality of our products, services, customer relationships and operational efficiency in order to maintain our market position during difficult times and economic uncertainties in addition to the ongoing societal changes.

It is worth noting that despite the surprising challenges the pandemic has caused, 2020 has marked an exceptional number of achievements for stc, as we witnessed the launch of many offers and services that best serve our individual and enterprise customers. stc also launched the new brand name of its subsidiary "QualityNet" to become solutions by stc, the company's arm specializing in providing integrated business solutions.

As a matter of our concern for the social responsibility towards our local community, stc ensured its presence to lend a helping hand and support throughout the critical period resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak in order to alleviate the negative consequences of the current crisis on the Kuwaiti community. In this regard, stc has contributed to many initiatives and activities in support of the adopted preventive measures.

Consequently, the company has collaborated with various entities to support a number of groups and sectors across Kuwait including, health, sports, education and entrepreneurship. In addition, stc has also worked alongside with some governmental agencies and medical companies to prevent the infectious diseases in addition to undertaking several preventive measures in accordance with the health guidelines and instructions issued by the Ministry of Health.

As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, stc has also adopted the highest safety standards and instilled the culture of performance among its staff to continue providing high quality services while protecting its customers and employees. During 2020, stc has heavily invested in its human capital through conducting virtual training courses throughout the lockdown period and thereafter.

Up until the moment, stc has been keen to ensure employees' safety, as it was amongst the first companies in Kuwait to adopt the remote working criteria while keeping the working teams engaged through conducting virtual conferences and sending them feedback surveys on a continuous basis".

Eng Maziad Alharbi, stc's CEO, also added: "2020 was a remarkable year for Kuwait Telecommunications Company (stc) despite the unprecedented crisis witnessed by different sectors in Kuwait and around the globe. The global crisis has led to a radical shift in the quality of services and the strategy of current as well as future businesses due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the imposed restrictions on movements which negatively impacted most businesses and economic activities.

In response to the unforeseeable events, the company formed a specialized team at the onset of the pandemic to deal with the crisis through developing a business continuity plan and adopting new initiatives to face the challenges and adhere to the national measures imposed to combat the virus's outbreak.

The specialized team has requested detailed business continuity plans to be developed by all the sectors at stc in addition to their request of monitoring the logistical work required to ensure the continuity of company's business and services provided to its customers. These plans are likely to reduce the negative economic impact of the crises on stc while ensuring the safety of its employees and customers.

The company also took important steps at the onset of the crises to ensure stc's continuity of providing full services to all its customers during the full and partial lockdown periods. Furthermore, the taken steps shall also ensure the implementation of working from home and return to work plans, in addition to enhancing the digital transformation strategy and enriching the customer experience. stc was keen to protect its financial position and its shareholder's rights by extensively managing its cash flows and monitoring collections, while activating the cost optimization program to support company's profit margins for the year 2020.

stc has also proved its ability to overcome the challenges and potential risks in addition to keeping up with business operations and opening its doors to serve its customers in the current circumstances. Moreover, stc was placed in the forefront within the private sectors as a result of the great efforts and dedication of its staff, who have demonstrated their determination to face the health risks associated with COVID-19. As a result, stc was able to continue providing its services with the same quality standards despite the increasing demand and the shift towards digital platforms to communicate and deliver its products to the customers.

Despite COVID-19's repercussions and the strong competition in the Kuwaiti telecommunications market, stc has managed to achieve good financial results that meet the anticipation of our shareholders during an unstable and unprecedented circumstances. Whereby, stc's revenue reached KD 283.2 million by the end of 2020, compared to KD 293.7 million in the previous year.

This decline is attributed to the full and partial lockdown that were imposed, which, in turn, resulted in a decline in the consumer sector's revenue, in addition to the significant near-total drop in company's revenue from the roaming services, due to the suspension of flights and closing the airports of most companies around the globe. On the other hand, EBITDA reached KD 73.4 million in 2020 with an EBITDA margin of 26 percent during 2020. Consequently, stc's net profit recorded KD 32.1 million (earnings per share of 64 fils) with a profit margin of 11 percent.

The company also structured its capital and operational expenditures, particularly after the negative effects of the current economic crisis to ensure liquidity of cash flows under the current conditions. Furthermore, the company achieved these results despite COVID-19's global economic challenges, during which stc was able to achieve good revenue levels in addition to enhancing its operational efficiency to create an added value for its customers and better returns for its shareholders.

stc's financial results throughout 2020 also reflected its competitiveness and strengthened its position as the second largest telecommunications company in terms of its market share of revenue in the Kuwait telecommunications sector with a market share of approx. 35 percent. Moreover, stc's customer base reached 1.9 million customers at the end of 2020.

stc's future plans focus on enriching customer experience, gaining market leadership and being a pioneer through improving company's capabilities as well as providing an effective model based on the digital platforms in addition to instilling the culture of performance within the company. stc also seeks to enter into strategic partnerships to provide the basic infrastructure necessary to develop stc's ICT portfolio.

Additionally, stc is always keen to provide integrated working teams, innovate in its services and products, and explore more smart investments in order to achieve the best results. In light of market challenges resulting from the highly competitive prices, stc aims to focus on the value and quality of its products and services.

Hence, one of stc's most important future aspirations is to provide its customers, individuals and enterprises, with products and services that are beyond the traditional mobile services. It also strives to attract opportunities related to providing enterprise services and transforming the technical capabilities, in addition to empowering those capabilities renewably, leveraging from stc group's expertise and capabilities in the digital transformation area. stc also capitalizes on the advanced technical services provided by solutions by stc which operates in Kuwait and is fully owned by stc".