Dubai: Investment firm Amanat Holdings on Sunday posted a 40 per cent rise in full-year net profit, as it benefitted from cost reduction initiatives and as its education-related assets fared better-than-expected.
Amanat, which claims to be GCC’s largest healthcare and education investment firm, said a boost from its education platform helped cushion losses from its Bahrain-based asset, the Royal Hospital for Women & Children (RHWC) – which started operations in March and is currently in a “ramp-up” phase.
Amanat launched RHWC ahead of schedule in March and achieved by year-end 90 per cent progress in staffing its clinical teams and launching its services portfolio, said Chief Executive Officer Tristan de Boysson, while adding that “this will support us in turning” the hospital asset to profitability by late 2020.
It is worth noting that bottom-line profitability excluding RHWC’s ramp-up losses would have been Dh82 million, up 84.9 per cent compared to the previous year, the company said.
Amanat posted total income of Dh113.3 million in 2019, up 8 per cent from last year, and a net profit of Dh60 million, up 39.8 per cent. It proposed a cash dividend of 2.2 fils a-share for 2019, 46.7 per cent higher than 2018.
Total expenses fell 16 per cent to Dh51.7 million in fiscal 2019, after 11 per cent decline in staff costs following cost reduction initiatives taken by management as well as a 45 per cent reduction in project costs. The firm said its education platform recorded a 54.8 per cent increase year-on-year.
Dubai-listed Amanat had revealed earlier that it is assessing a strategic stake acquisition in VPS Healthcare, a private healthcare service provider in UAE and Oman.
It bought three medical facilities in Jeddah last year, adding to its existing portfolio which consists of education assets – Middlesex University Dubai and Abu Dhabi University Holding Company – and its educational real estate investment North London Collegiate School (NLCS Dubai) .
“We remain optimistic on the macro-economic backdrop, which is supported by growing populations and a rising demand for education and healthcare services,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Amanat.