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Mr. Ghazi Fahad Alnafisi, Salhia’s Chairman and Managing Director, commented, prolongation of the adverse ramifications of the global financial and economic crisis was apparent on all sectors at both levels, domestic and foreign during 2009. Therefore, the Company devised and implemented a strategic plan to confront the economic crisis, which helped maintain values of its assets and stabilize its operational revenue. Accordingly, the Company managed to secure the liquidity necessary to support its operational assets and fulfill all its obligations towards loan repayments in 2009.
Mr. Alnafisi explained that as a summary of the financial performance for year 2009, the Company has realized profit amounting to KD. 7.2 million which represents a profit of 19 Fils per share, as compared with a loss of KD. 35.5 million, which represents a loss of 90 Fils per share for last year, an increase of 120%.
The Company’s total assets amounted to 262 Million Kuwaiti Dinars as compared with 264 Million Kuwaiti Dinars for 2008, that is a reduction equivalent to 0.63%.
The liabilities declined from 146 Million Kuwaiti Dinars for 2008 year to 128 Million Kuwaiti Dinars in 2009, a decrease of 12.4% (18 Million Kuwaiti Dinars).
The shareholders’ equity increased from 106 Million Kuwaiti Dinars to 121 Million Kuwaiti Dinars as compared with last year, a 14.2% increase amounting to 15 Million Kuwaiti Dinars.
The Company’s operational revenues remained stable, generating 44.2 Million Kuwaiti Dinars. Revenues in 2008 amounted to 44.1 Million Kuwaiti Dinars.
As a result of the positive growth in shareholders equity by 14.2%, the share book value increased to 311 Fils.
Taking into consideration that all the abovementioned financial figures were recorded on the basis of historical cost, and were booked in the financial statements of 2009.
Mr. Alnafisi revealed, with respect to the actual market value of the Company’s assets, which were assessed by professional valuers at the end of 2009, the value amounted to 626 Million Kuwaiti Dinars and ownership equity at the amount of 382 Million Kuwaiti Dinars, increasing the book value per share to 981 Fils.
Mr. Alnafisi also mentioned that the Company resumed its successful asset management in realizing an occupancy level of 100% in all its existing properties, in addition to achieving the required level of occupancy rates in its hotels. Hence, contributing positively towards maximizing the value of cash-flow for the Company and stabilizing the profitability level.
Mr. Alnafisi reported that with regards to the New Arraya Tower, we have completed all the building and construction works and commenced the leasing process, arriving at an occupancy level equaling 82%.
With respect to Al-Asima Real Estate Project, Mr. Alnafisi explained that Salhia continues to retain a 50% stake of Al-Asima Real Estate Company, which owns the Al-Asima project.
Site work began after securing all formal approvals, but was halted by notification from the Ministry of Finance pending execution of a leasing agreement. Salhia has strived with the Ministry of Finance and other concerned authorities to obtain approval to resume work.
The Company has been working diligently with the Ministry of Finance and the other concerned authorities to clarify the nature of Al-Asima project and that it should not be subjected to Build Operate and Transfer (B.O.T) laws and projects categorization.
Recently, there has been several positive factors emerging in favor of the project. Initiatives presented by the relevant State Bodies in order to distinguish between projects have been discussed. These new initiatives should clarify which projects will be subjected to (B.O.T) laws. Salhia is therefore optimistic and anticipates to receive the official State Properties Contract during the first quarter of 2010. Such developments were reflected on the litigation procedures between Salhia and the State Properties Department. At the present time, the Company is working on a judicial settlement satisfactory to all parties, while keeping in mind the ongoing negotiation with the State Properties Department.
For the local non-real estate investments, Mr. Alnafisi confirmed that Salhia adopted a carefully studied strategic plan of systematic divestment from some investments in order to realize adequate returns for the Company’s shareholders during 2009. This plan allowed suitable liquidity to be available to assist in capturing forthcoming investment opportunities available in the local markets.
In the United Kingdom, Salhia’s activities are run by a joint venture company, Key Properties Investments Company (KPI). It has a diversified portfolio of income-producing assets and refurbishment and redevelopment opportunities. Excellent progress is being made on the mixed use town centre scheme at Farnborough with the completion and occupation of Sainsbury’s food store. There has also been progress with the construction of the Warwickshire College at KPI’s Rugby site.
The Birmingham project, known as The Beorma Quarter, is a major central city regeneration project. A formal planning application was submitted in February 2009 to Birmingham City Council and a resolution to grant consent was given at Committee in May with final approval following Judicial Review granted unanimously in November 2009.
In Germany, Salhia’s investments are run by Haddia Holding Company which provides nursing home services for senior citizens. During this year, real estate values in Germany stabilized. The market values of the company’s properties remains above book value. In 2009, Haddia Group were rated as “Best Consumer Friendly” properties by the new law of transparency of quality of nursing homes in Germany.