Complex Made Simple

$114 million net profits for GFH: Smart investments; Profitable exits

For the financial year ended 31 December 2018, GFH Financial Group (GFH) reported consolidated net profit of $115 million (mn) as compared with $103.19 million from the previous year, an increase of 11.4%, and a net profit attributable to shareholders of $114.08mn compared with $104.18mn for the previous year, an increase of 9.5% mainly due to contribution from across all business lines and strategic transactions during the year.

Commenting on the results, Jassim Alseddiqi, Chairman of GFH, said, “This marks the fourth consecutive year of solid gains. Among the strongest measures of market confidence in GFH today and over the past year was the raising of more than $1 billion through our investment products and treasury and capital markets during 2018, which fuels further growth and investment for GFH in 2019.”

“We are also delighted to announce the Board’s recommendation for another robust distribution of a dividend of 8.71% and $85mn ($30mn cash and $55mn bonus shares) for 2018 to shareholders, subject to approval by the General Assembly and our regulators. We have entered 2019 in a stronger position than ever to build value and execute on our strategy.”

For the full year 2018, the Group’s total consolidated revenue was $246.21mn compared with $204.36mn in 2017, reflecting a healthy year-on-year increase of 20.5%.

GFH also continued to deliver on its strategy of achieving profitable exists, which for the year amounted to $120mn.

Last October, GFH was conditionally approved to sell its $1bn real estate portfolio to the Bahraini central bank, in the form of both initial cash payments covering over 25% of the deal and through a joint development agreement over 5 years for the remaining balance, a company statement at the time said.

Reflecting market confidence in the Group was an affirmation of its ratings by Fitch, the international rating agency, at “B” with a Stable Outlook.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, added, “2018 was characterised by a strategic focus on further diversifying and building our portfolio of strong income yielding. We made our first technology investment in the Entertainer, a market leading leisure platform that operates in the region and globally and which has been doubling its turnover year on year. Significantly, we have also made strong progress in achieving strategic and profitable exits ahead of targets, despite challenging market conditions.”