x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Kingdom Holding's profits fall to 187.7m riyals

A slowdown in Middle East hotel operations helped push Kingdom Holding's profit down 19.9 per cent in the fourth quarter

The Saudi company led by Prince Al Waleed bin Talal yesterday posted a 19.9 per cent drop in profit for the fourth quarter.

Kingdom Holding's net income fell to 187.8 million riyals (Dh183.9m) compared with 234.6m riyals for the same quarter in 2010. Income from operations for the fourth quarter fell to 168.4m riyals, a 36.4 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2010.

The company attributed the results to a "decrease in performance from associates" and struggles in the Middle East hotel market, which has been hit by political turmoil in parts of the region, according to a statement filed on the Saudi bourse.

But the declines were partially offset by an "increase in income from investments and dividends income", the company said.

Net income for the 12-month period that ended on December 31 rose to 639.6m riyals, a 5.7 per cent increase from the same period of 2010.

Income from operations for the 12-month period was 666.6m riyals, a 3.7 per cent drop from the same period a year earlier. The company earned 0.17 riyals a share for the last 12-month period compared with 0.16 riyals for the same period in 2010.

"Kingdom Holding enters the year 2012 with solid optimism and continues to distribute dividends," Prince Al Waleed said after Kingdom's board of directors met this month.

He owns 95 per cent of Kingdom Holding, which was publicly listed on the Tadawul exchange in 2007.

For eight years, Prince Al Waleed has been listed as the richest Arab by Arabian Business magazine. This year his net worth was estimated at US$21.3 billion (Dh78.23bn).

Kingdom has taken large stakes in a wide variety of international companies, including Citigroup, Apple and Hewlett-Packard. Kingdom also owns about 1 per cent of Kodak, the camera maker that filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

The company's hotel interests include stakes in the Four Seasons and Mövenpick chains. This month, Kingdom sold its stake in the Four Seasons Jakarta and the Mövenpick hotel in Tanzania for $93m.

Last month, Kingdom expanded its global media holdings with a $300m investment in the microblogging site Twitter. Kingdom already owns about 7 per cent of News Corp's Class B common stock.

Prince Al Waleed is also launching a news channel, Al Arab, which will be based in Bahrain.

In August, Kingdom announced plans to build the world's tallest tower in Jeddah. Kingdom Tower is designed to be about 1km tall.