Business

Qalaa Holdings reports revenue growth of 39% y-o-y in 2018

Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal (4)

Qalaa Holdings, a leader in energy and infrastructure (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange, formerly Citadel Capital), released today its consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2018, reporting EBITDA growth of 52% y-o-y to $ 15.3 million on revenues of $ 172.9 million up 39% y-o-y.  Strong growth came on the back of a solid performance by the Group’s energy division coupled with the consolidation of National Printing, which began during the first quarter of 2018. The Group recorded a net profit of $ 27.2 million in 2Q18, largely driven by non-cash gains of $ 72.5 million delivered through restructuring efforts. On a six month basis, Qalaa’s net profit came in at $16.8 million on revenues of $ 347.7 million in 1H18, up 43% y-o-y.

“I am very pleased with our company’s performance in the second quarter and first half of 2018,” said Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “Our core energy and infrastructure subsidiaries continue to deliver operational growth as they capitalize on favorable market dynamics. Strong revenue growth saw Qalaa report a solid 52% increase in its EBITDA for 2Q18, with bottom-line profitability buoyed as gains from restructuring efforts offset interest expenses carried at the holding and subsidiary levels.”

In 2Q18, Qalaa recorded, $51.3 million non-cash gain from the deconsolidation of the operational liabilities (net of FX reserve & minority interest) under Africa Railways. This, however, is only a partial deconsolidation as Qalaa expects a second one-off non-cash gain of c. $ 139.5 million (related to the debt portion of Africa Railways) during the coming months once a sale or liquidation takes place.

Additionally, Qalaa booked a gain of $19.2 million at the holding level in 2Q18 related to acquisition and restructuring activities. The gain was primarily generated from a differential between National Printing’s consolidated book value and its fair market value as determined by an independent financial advisor, as well as the purchase of a loan from one of Qalaa’s subsidiaries which was settled directly with the bank at a discount.

“Our results in the second quarter reflect our ongoing efforts to streamline and optimize our portfolio with the company beginning to harvest the merits of its strategy,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holding’s Co-Founder and Managing Director. “Our decision to bring National Printing into the fold is already seeing it make significant top- and bottom-line contributions, while efforts to clean-up our portfolio and shed discontinued operations has paid off as the account reports almost zero losses in 2Q18.”

“Meanwhile, as previously communicated we have booked an expected non-cash gain on the partial deconsolidation of Africa Railways nearing $ 55.8 million. We are actively exploring avenues to sell or liquidate the company and trigger the complete deconsolidation of its debt obligation which should result in a further gain of c. $ 139.6 million in the coming months. Together said gains will help offset the effect of a related impairment of $ 178.7 million booked in FY17, and consequently strengthen our financial position as we head into the next growth phase for Qalaa,” El-Khazindar added.

“As we bring our company closer to the cusp of sustainable operational profitability, we are actively gearing up for the next growth phase across our subsidiaries. At TAQA Arabia, we have earmarked c.$ 446.7 million  in investments over the coming three years that will see us accelerate the company’s distribution reach with more filling stations, diversify into renewable energy with our pilot solar project in Benban and expand our exposure to conventional energy through investments in coal-fired power plants. Qalaa is also looking to increase its ownership in the Egyptian Refining Company’s transformative project which is now 98% complete with start of commissioning by end of 2018. Meanwhile, new capacities for RDF production at Tawazon have already been procured and commissioning is expected by 2019. Said investments alongside similar ventures in our mining and logistics platforms will see Qalaa continue to deliver on this growth momentum and cement its position as an African leader in energy and infrastructure,” Heikal concluded.

Qalaa Holdings’ full business review for 2Q2018 and the financial statements on which it is based are now available for download on ir.qalaaholdings.com.

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