IFA is 'very happy' with latest year even as latest earnings fall 17.6%

Kuwait's IFA Hotels and Resorts (IFAHR) cited "a challenging year" as the reason for a 17.6 per cent fall in earnings.

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Kuwait's IFA Hotels and Resorts (IFAHR) cited "a challenging year" as the reason for a 17.6 per cent fall in earnings. The hotel and tourism resort developer, which has formed partnerships with companies such as Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) and Nakheel on projects, saw net profits fall to 30.8 million Kuwait dinars (Dh394.4m) for the financial year that ended on June 30, down from 37.4m dinars the previous year. The latest period "was no doubt a challenging year for many companies around the world", said Ibrahim al Therban, the chairman of IFAHR. The tourism industry worldwide has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with hotel revenues across international destinations declining as hotels have been forced to slash rates in an effort to boost demand. "We are very happy with our profits during these times," said Mr al Therban. "We believe there are still many opportunities for us as a company to explore in order to continue growing in the coming years." The company's total assets increased to 338.2m dinars for the year, compared with 277.8m dinars for the previous financial years. Revenues for the latest year fell to 52.8m dinars compared with 55.5m dinars in the previous year, while shareholders' equity surged to 101.4m dinars from 67.4m dinars. IFAHR is the majority shareholder in the hotel company YOTEL, which offers luxury quality rooms in compact spaces. Last year, IFAHR signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) to bring two YOTEL hotels to the capital. The international YOTEL group opened its third hotel at the beginning of the year at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. IFAHR said it consolidated its portfolio with KHI last November, taking majority ownership in two projects: Fairmont Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and the Fairmont Zanzibar hotel. In return, IFAHR gave its minority interests in five hotels in Kenya to KHI. The company has also launched two major projects in South Africa: the Zimbali Lakes Resort and the Zimbali Office Estate. "The year ahead is critical as we will open and hand over many residences and resorts in Dubai, Lebanon, Thailand and South Africa. We will also be introducing new investment and lifestyle products to the market and will continue working towards maximising our shareholders' returns." said Talal Jassim al Bahar, the vice chairman and chief executive of IFAHR. Last week, the company announced that it had acquired an additional 14.9 per cent stake in Raimon Land, a luxury condominium and property development company based in Bangkok, increasing its stake to 41 per cent. IFAHR is listed on the Kuwait and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. The company linked with Nakheel on the Golden Mile and Palm Residence residential developments in Dubai. The main shareholder of IFAHR is the Kuwait-based International Financial Advisors. Prince al Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has also invested in the company. rbundhun@thenational.ae