Abu Dhabi government-owned General Holding Corporation (Senaat) on Wednesday said it invested Dh2.2 billion ($600 million) in industry last year and would invest as much this year, as the emirate seeks to diversify its economy beyond oil.
Investments went into expansion of core industries such as Emirates Steel, Arkan Building Materials Co and Agthia Group.
Since 2004, Senaat has invested about Dh16 billion in Abu Dhabi's industrial sector.
"All of this new investment is consistent with our strategy to engage in industrial projects and we will continue to invest every year," Hussain al Nowais, chairman of Senaat, told Reuters after announcing the company's results.
Unlisted Senaat's revenues totalled Dh12.3 billion in 2012, up 7.2 per cent over the previous year. But net profit was lower at Dh1.3 billion compared to Dh1.5 billion in 2011, mainly due to higher depreciation costs, al Nowais said.
The total assets grew 7.8 per cent to Dh25.4 billion in 2012.
Nowais said Senaat was focused on supporting the expansion of Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector in line with the Government’s plan to diversify the economic base by boosting the role of non-oil industries in the local economy.
"Since 2004, Senaat has invested nearly Dh16 billion with industrial investments of Dh2.2 billion in 2012 alone.
“Consistent with Senaat’s historical growth trajectory, revenues for the year reached Dh12.3 billion, reflecting a 7 per cent rise,” Al Nowais said.
“Senaat’s strategy is to maximise the value of its portfolio companies and their contribution to the industrial GDP of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Growth, sustainability and commercial viability are the paramount drivers in achieving this objective and our financial results reflect successful implementation of our strategy,” he stated.
CEO Suhail Bin Athaeeth said Senaat’s sustained revenue and asset growth underpins the group’s superior track record of value generation and the success of its disciplined financial strategy.
"The prudent approach that Senaat has been applying is instrumental in allowing the group to be self-sufficient in its financing and to reinvest profits into the development of new and existing projects," he noted.
“During 2012, we grew our industrial assets by adding new production capacity in steel manufacturing, building new cement and blocks production facilities and adding new vessels to our existing fleet for oil and gas services. All of this new investment is consistent with our strategy to engage in industrial projects which have high potential for growth and long-term stability,” he added.
The shareholders’ equity grew by 11.4 per cent to Dh10.9 billion over the period, and net profit for the year was Dh1.3 billion representing a return on equity of 12.6 per cent.
Two of Senaat's companies, Arkan and Agthia, are listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market and there are plans to list more when market conditions improve, said al Nowais..-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service