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Amanat Holdings is looking at new revenue generation routes to shore up its numbers and lessen reliance on its core education and healthcare assets. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Amanat Holdings, the education and healthcare investment company, saw income drop 32.6 per cent in the first six months to Dh43 million. Net profit came to Dh16.5 million from Dh35.1 million, as the bottom-line suffered from lower returns from healthcare assets.

This was on “account of restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement. But it was partially offset by a 5.4 per cent year-on-year increase in income from investments attributable to the education portfolio companies.

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“The defensive nature of the education and healthcare sectors allowed Amanat to continue delivering profitability to shareholders despite the transient challenges brought about by the pandemic,” said Hamad Al Shamsi, Chairman.

“We have also taken this as an opportunity not only to drive key cost-cutting and efficiency measures across Amanat’s portfolio, but also pivot into alternative mitigants to utilize various revenue streams and offset the financial impact over the six-month period.

“These measures will not only enable our assets to weather the repercussions but will also unlock stronger profitability down the line when business returns to pre-COVID19 levels.”

The one-offs

There were one-off items impacting on net income, including a provision of Dh15.9 million related to aged receivables attributable to 'Sukoon'. Amanat has deployed Dh2 billion on asset build up since inception, utilizing 80 per cent of its Dh2.5 billion paid up.

"At our education platform, a seamless shift to distance and online learning for the remainder of the 2020 academic year allowed us to deliver a 5.4 per cent growth in total income from education investments," said Dr. Mohamad Hamade. "This comes despite having introduced tuition discounts and recorded lower ancillary revenue due to COVID-19, with performance being supported by strong student enrolment growth and cost optimization."

Healthcare turnaround
Government directives in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to temporarily suspend all elective treatments and surgeries on account of COVID-19 took a toll on Amanat's healthcare-related income from investments.
"However, these restrictions were short-term in nature, with elective procedures deemed deferred rather than cancelled," said Dr. Mohamad Hamade, CEO.
"This is particularly evident with the growth in patient numbers starting June at our Jeddah-based International Medical Center and Bahrain’s Royal Hospital for Women and Children. And as with our education platform, the prevailing circumstances have also pushed forward the addition and expansion of new healthcare solutions such as telemedicine and homecare."