Aug. 14--MANAMA -- Gulf Finance House (GFH), the Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank, posted a net profit of $10.6 million for the first half of 2014 compared with $4.2 million for the prior year period. Its announcement says it is again reporting solid performance and strongly improved profitability.
The bank's consolidated profits rose by 152 percent in current period compared to the prior year period although an impairment of $ 10 million was conservatively taken. Net profit for the second quarter of 2014 was $9.5 million as against $2.7 million only achieved in the second quarter of the year 2013.
Total income for the first half of 2014 was $88.2 million compared with $24.5 million for the same period of the year 2013. This includes $45.3 million from the consolidation of the results of the industrial subsidiaries.
Excluding the income achieved from industrial businesses, this represents an increase of 75 percent in the bank's income from its investment banking business lines as against the comparable period of the year 2013.
Contributing to this positive result among other factors was the income of $33 million generated from recoveries of previous investments in the form of land, which was concluded during the second quarter.
Operating expenses for the period were $67.6 million.
The first half of the year also saw further progress in strengthening the GFH's balance sheet where it made debt repayments of approximately $7 million during the period representing a reduction of approximately 3.5 percent of the bank's total financing liabilities and underscoring a solid track record of timely debt repayments, a situation that reflects healthy cash and financial position as well as an overall strong credit quality of the bank.
Early in the third quarter, the bank has further repaid $25 million to its financiers.
Commenting on H1, 2014 results, Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO of GFH, said: "We are pleased to announce another period of healthy results and enhanced profitability. In the first half of the year, the bank concluded a number of investments in the UAE market, where we are looking to expand our exposure and benefit from strong dynamics in sectors, including education, tourism and real estate development."
"Among our other goals during the period was to continue strengthening the bank's financial position. We are particularly pleased with the progress made on this front. Through ongoing fiscal discipline and effective balance sheet management, we have put the bank on a stronger financial footing that will enable it to enter into the second half of the year well positioned for pursuing new investments and achieving further financial growth and increased profitability," GFH added.
(c)2014 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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