MANAMA: Bahrain-based Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, has posted a net profit of $55.3 million for the six months ended December 31, 2017 as against $47.7m recorded during the corresponding period in the previous year, marking an increase of 16 per cent.
The growth was driven by continued strong transactional activity and significantly higher overall assets under management (AuM) resulting from the credit management line of business, a statement said.
Fully diluted earnings per share for the period increased 8pc to $0.70per share (H1 FY17: $0.65per share) while return on equity for the period remained steady at 9pc on an annualised basis (H1 FY17: 9pc).
Fee income for the period increased 7pc to $137.5m (H1 FY17: $128m), with a 45pc increase in AuM fees somewhat offset by lower deal fees as a result of lower placement fee contribution primarily due to the uncertain market environment in the Gulf.
As the short-term uncertainty clears, we anticipate a healthy pick-up in fee income as clients revert to a normalised level of investment activity.
Asset based income in the period was $71m (H1 FY17: $40.3m) with strong performance across all business lines.
Overall, gross operating income was correspondingly higher at $208.5m (H1 FY17: $168.3m).
Significant progress has been made against a number of growth initiatives during the period.
Earlier in H1, the Firm announced its minority investment in an independent Swiss-regulated private bank based in Geneva and Luxembourg, subject to receiving regulatory and other approvals which we hope to receive shortly.
The recently established European Real Estate team completed the formation of its first portfolio with the acquisition of seven additional logistics assets in UK, and the portfolio was subsequently substantially placed with investors.
The team continues to seek further opportunities in Germany and France.
More broadly, Investcorp’s continued investment in building out its global distribution capabilities is delivering positive results.
The firm has started receiving some interest as a consequence of its recently established presence in Asia, whilst total fundraising from clients and institutional investors globally stood at $3.6bn.
During the period, distributions to clients and the Firm from realisations and other distributions totalled $3.5bn.
Aggregate operating expenses increased 34pc to $117.3m (H1 FY17: $87.5m) reflecting the incremental costs of the credit management business, continued investment in broadening the firm’s product capabilities and client-facing resources and higher accruals for variable compensation in line with the higher income for the period.
The firm’s cost-to-income ratio was 69pc at the end of the period (H1 FY17: 65pc).
Investcorp remains well capitalized with total assets as at December 31, 2017, at $2.7 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 30pc, which is more than double the requirements of the Central Bank of Bahrain (12.5pc).
Total accessible liquidity remains strong at $900m despite the repayment of a $250m bond which matured in November 2017.
The bank maintains a conservative leverage ratio and maintains significant headroom in all financial covenants.
The strength of the balance sheet provides the firm with flexibility to assess potential strategic opportunities both by organic and inorganic channels as they arise.
“We are pleased to report strong growth in profitability during the period, driven by the positive underlying performance across all asset classes and supportive market conditions in the US and Europe,” said executive chairman Mohammed Alardhi.
“Whilst potential pockets of risk remain, mainly stemming from geopolitical factors, our robust balance sheet, experience and expertise enables us to take advantage of interesting investment opportunities globally.
“We look forward to the rest of 2018 and beyond with great confidence as a bigger, more geographically diversified firm with a broader range of products which we hope will see us continue to deliver value to our clients and shareholders.”