Abu Dhabi's IHC reports six-fold rise in 2020 net profit on acquisitions

The company's asset base grew to Dh14bn last year from Dh4bn at the end of 2019

An investor monitors a screen displaying stock information at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange June 25, 2014. The spectacular rise and fall of Arabtec, Dubai's most heavily traded stock, teaches hard lessons about how risky the region remains for investors even as its rapid economic growth lures billions of dollars in fresh funds from abroad. Wild trading by local retail investors who dominate activity, plus weak corporate disclosure and a hands-off approach by regulators, can make a toxic mix, and on occasion destabilise entire markets.  REUTERS/Stringer  (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - GM1EA6P1SB001
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Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company posted a six-fold increase in its 2020 net income as an expanding asset base drove profitability.

Net profit for the period ending December 31, climbed to Dh3 billion, as the company continued to grow organically and through acquisitions, it said in a statement on Sunday to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares trade.

The company's revenue for the reporting period surged to Dh7bn, from Dh1.26bn recorded at the end of 2019.

“IHC has transformed into a major investment company that benefits from a robust balance sheet and a highly diversified portfolio that spans six vertical[s],” Syed Basar Shueb, IHC's chief executive, said.

The company, which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi's PAL Group of Companies, has steadily expanded its portfolio by acquiring businesses in emerging technologies, real estate and health care among others.

It has acquired a stake in California-based aerospace company SpaceX through a private equity fund, and has invested in UK-based DNA sequencing firm Oxford Nanopore technologies and New York digital marketing company Yieldmo.

IHC's healthcare arm, which owns Quantlase Imaging La – the company behind the rapid Covid-19 screening system operated on the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai at Ghantoot – last year secured a 52 per cent stake in R-Med Medical Supplies, a firm that makes sterilising gates to limit the spread of Covid-19.

IHC also acquired property developer Royal Development, project management firm Royal Architect and took a 60 per cent stake in Apex Alwataniah Catering Service.

IHC’s total assets increased to Dh14bn at the end of 2020, surging from Dh4bn a year earlier. Its cash and cash equivalents reached Dh3.7bn at the end of the reporting period.

Although the company’s growth was partially driven by strategic acquisitions and investments, IHC's subsidiaries have also delivered strong organic revenue growth of 165 per cent, Mr Shueb said.

The subsidiaries have displayed “significant resilience when faced with considerable global macro-economic challenges”, he said. He added that the company is “well positioned to invest further in high potential opportunities”.

IHC, which has listed three of its subsidiaries on the secondary market of ADX will “enhance shareholder value through operational synergies and cost efficiencies", the company said. It will continue to evaluate investment opportunities through direct ownership and by entering partnerships in the UAE and abroad.

“IHC has a clear strategy of enhancing its portfolio through acquisitions, strategic investments, restructuring, consolidation, diversification, and divesting,” the company said.