UAE's Amanat Holdings plans to 'accelerate' investments

Firm reports 32.5% decline in normalised net profit for 2020

  
A trader talks on the phone during the opening of the Dubai stock market June 26, 2016. Image for illustrative purpose

A trader talks on the phone during the opening of the Dubai stock market June 26, 2016. Image for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Education and healthcare investment firm Amanat Holdings said on Sunday that it looks to accelerate its investments this year.

The UAE-based firm reported a full-year 2020 net profit of 10.1 million dirhams ($2.7 million), down 83 percent from 60 million dirhams last year. Excluding one-off items, Amanat’s normalised net profit was down 32.5 percent year-on-year to 26.9 million dirhams.

Despite a net profit fall, the firm said it managed to deliver a “strong performance” last year, particularly during the fourth quarter.

“Looking ahead, we have a clear strategic roadmap… We will focus on investing in businesses with strong earnings potential that are leading the transformation of the healthcare and education sectors,” the company said in a bourse filing to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Sunday.

The firm operates schools and hospitals in the region. Its education portfolio includes North London Collegiate School Dubai, Middlesex University Dubai and Abu Dhabi University Holding Company. Last year, it terminated a deal to divest its shares in Middlesex University Dubai campus.

Financial results, outlook

In its financial report, the company said it deployed 2.1 billion dirhams in “strategic investments” in the healthcare and education sectors across the UAE last year.

“Reflecting on our financial results for [2020] we have witnessed a solid recovery across our portfolio in [the fourth quarter], thanks to the operational agility and nimble strategic input from our management teams since the onset of COVID-19,” said Hamad Al Shamsi, Amanat’s chairman.

During the fourth quarter, Amanat reported a 95.4 percent year-on-year increase in its income from investments to 39.2 million dirhams. This was made possible after losses from healthcare investments narrowed by 24.6 percent and income from education investments rose by 67 percent during the same period.

“With [2020] behind us, we will look closely at improving our earnings further to ensure adequate and above market dividend returns to our shareholders. We have built a clear pathway to achieve this through potential divestments, transforming minority stakes into majority investments to consolidate the platform model more coherently and investing in assets that have the potential to grow earnings,” added Al Shamsi.

Dr. Mohamad Hamade, Amanat’s chief executive officer, said they look to “leverage the opportunities presented” by the coronavirus pandemic and generate more sustainable value in the coming years.

“We are optimistic about Amanat’s prospects as we enter a new development phase steered by the key growth pillars we have formulated under the guidance of our board of directors,” said Hamade.

“These pillars include strategic initiatives to improve our portfolios’ performance and profitability, accelerate investment sin high-yielding assets and further optimising our capital structure,” he added.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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