Unicorn achieves strong results
Bahrain, November 5, 2008
Unicorn Investment Bank (Unicorn) said earnings for the nine months to the end of September 30, 2008 rose by 121 per cent, from $84.6 million in the first nine months of 2007 to $186.7 million in the first nine months of 2008.
Net profit increased by $21.6 million or 68 per cent, from $31.8 million in the first nine months of 2007 to $53.4 million during the same period in 2008.
The strong results delivered major improvements in the Bank's key profitability and shareholder return measures. Return on average equity increased to 21.2 per cent and earnings per share grew to 28.7 US cents per share.
Unicorn's outstanding third quarter results come on the back of a series of high profile transactions closed during the course of the year.
In January, the Bank announced its acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Victron, Inc, a leading specialty provider of high-mix, complex electronics manufacturing services based in Silicon Valley.
In March, the Unicorn Global Private Equity Fund I successfully acquired a 55 per cent equity stake in Gulf Strategic Partners (GSP), a Bahrain-based company providing pre-operational cleaning services for petrochemical, power, oil and gas and process facilities throughout the GCC region and India. The Fund has since increased its stake in GSP to 73.3 per cent.
In May, Unicorn successfully closed a capital raising for the Turquoise Coast Investment Company, a real estate investment company established to provide investors with an opportunity to benefit from the thriving vacation homes market on Turkey’s Aegean Coast.
The company's projects are located in the Bodrum Peninsula, one of Turkey’s most prominent and prestigious coastal tourism and vacation homes destinations.
In the third quarter, the Bank announced the sale of its shares in UAE-based Orimix Concrete Products (Orimix), an investment held by the Bank itself and the Unicorn Global Private Equity Fund I.
The fund acquired a controlling stake in Orimix in November 2006, and the disposal of its shares in July 2008 resulted in a return on capital of 160 per cent and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 98 per cent.
Unicorn also recently announced that it had reached agreement to acquire Bahrain Financing Company (BFC), the oldest and one of the leading foreign exchange and remittance houses in the GCC.
Founded in 1917, BFC was Bahrain's first foreign exchange company and the first financial services institution to be established in the GCC region. It is the market leader in foreign exchange and money transfer services in Bahrain.
The company has recorded consistent growth and profitability over the past several decades and has developed an extensive correspondent network comprising leading institutions in over 60 countries worldwide.
Unicorn's acquisition of BFC includes Bahrain Exchange Company in Kuwait and EzRemit in the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the Bank's results, Majid Al-Sayed Bader Al-Refai, Unicorn’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are particularly pleased to have achieved such outstanding results in the first nine months of 2008 given the challenging global economic environment.
"Unicorn is committed to prudent risk management, sound corporate governance and strict Shari’ah compliance, and it is this commitment, and our adherence to these operating principles, that will allow us to achieve further success in the future inshaAllah." - TradeArabia News Service