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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Waha Capital profit up to Dh152m with sale of stake at Aerlift Leasing

Waha last month announced the Dh294.3 million sale of its 60.7 per cent stake in AerLift Leasing, which owns a portfolio of 11 commercial aircraft, to a newly-established US-based aircraft leasing company.
Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital, says the company’s profits are now being generated from across its investment portfolio. Delores Johnson / The National
Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital, says the company’s profits are now being generated from across its investment portfolio. Delores Johnson / The National

Waha Capital posted a 78 per cent rise in net profit to Dh152 million for the first quarter of the year as proceeds from the sale of its stake in an aircraft leasing business bolstered its income.

Revenue from the sale of the AerLift Leasing stake combined with strong returns from the Abu Dhabi investment company’s other aircraft business, AerCap Holdings, as well as revenue from the rest of its diversified portfolio to lift net profit from Dh85m in the first quarter of last year.

“It is particularly important to note that our profits are now being generated from across our investment portfolio,” said Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, the chief executive and managing director of Waha Capital. “We have also created a robust risk-return profile to manage and grow the company’s assets. The increasing contribution of our capital markets division is also quite encouraging. We are well capitalised and in an excellent position for further expansion in areas with high growth potential, such as health care, education and other sectors where we see value.”

Waha last month announced the sale of its 60.7 per cent stake in AerLift Leasing, which owns a portfolio of 11 commercial aircraft, to a newly-established US-based aircraft leasing company. The sale formed part of a gradual shift in strategy for Waha involving greater focus on its core assets and becoming a regional investment management company. Yesterday, Waha disclosed the total sale value was Dh307 million, helping it realise a gain of Dh20.3m.

Waha already holds interests in the aircraft leasing market through the New York-listed AerCap, in which it holds a 26.2 per cent stake. During the quarter, AerCap bolstered its portfolio of aircraft, either owned, managed or under contract to purchase, to 377. AerCap is expected to expand rapidly after it completes the takeover of rival ILFC, a deal tipped to close in the second quarter of this year. Waha yesterday said it expected the deal to deliver “immediate shareholder value through dramatic increase in scale and an expected rise in AerCap’s earnings per share”.

As part of a bid to benefit from an upsurge in demand for medical services, Waha last year purchased Anglo Arabian Healthcare Group, its first acquisition within the health sector. The group, which serves more than 400,000 people, managed to break even in the first quarter. Expansion projects, which were started in the first quarter, will add a further five clinical and diagnostic facilities to the existing six clinics operated by the group, Waha said.

Waha had a further Dh1 billion of funds available for deployment in investments, it said in yesterday’s financial statement. It follows the completion on March 27 of the refinancing of a syndicated loan with 13 local and international banks. It obtained a term loan for $375m and a revolving loan for the same amount, replacing a $505m facility secured in 2011.

“The new facility presents Waha Capital with Dh1 billion of funds available for deployment in investments,” it said in the financial statement. “Its size and tenor provide a solid platform from which Waha Capital can deliver on its long-term strategic plan of investing in high potential sectors of the regional economy.”

One area of the local economy that is already delivering returns to Waha is consumer credit. A rebound in demand for credit cards, mortgages and personal loans benefitted Dunia Finance, the consumer finance company in which Waha has a 25 per cent stake. Net profits rose by 55 per cent to Dh41m in the first quarter, with Dunia growing its loan book by 39 per cent to Dh1.1 billion compared to the same period of last year.

Elsewhere in its portfolio, Waha said Stanford Marine Group, the offshore supply vessels company in which it holds a 49 per cent stake, maintained stable profits in the quarter. The $300m private equity Mena Infrastructure Fund continued to perform well, Waha said.

Waha’s stock edged down 0.3 per cent to Dh3.29 yesterday on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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