RAMALLAH, Palestine, Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) announced its consolidated preliminary (unaudited) financial results for 2018. In his statement, APIC Chairman and CEO Tarek Aggad announced that APIC maintained good performance in 2018 despite the numerous surrounding challenges; revenues grew by 7.6% versus 2017, and amounted to USD 735.8 million in 2018.
Aggad stated that the group's net profit after tax amounted to USD 16.04 million in 2018, a drop of 8% year on year, noting that the main reason behind this decline was the fluctuation rate of the NIS (the main currency of operations in Palestine) vis-a-vis the US dollar (the official currency of APIC's financial statements), which caused a negative impact by USD 2.3 million compared to previous year's results. However, net profits attributed to APIC's shareholders increased by 9.7% compared to 2017, amounting to USD 13.1 million in 2018. This growth was essentially led by the full acquisition of APIC subsidiary Medical Supplies and Services (MSS), which saw APIC acquiring its partner's entire 50% stake in MSS in a share swap agreement, making it wholly owned by APIC, in addition to a number of capital expansions that included increasing APIC's shareholding ownership percentage from 61.2% to 65.8% in its subsidiary Siniora Food Industries, a listed company on Amman Stock Exchange. APIC also acquired a 6% stake in MadfooatCom, the operator of the national integrated e-bill payment platform in Jordan, in a deal worth USD 2.3 million. These developments saw a growth in net profits attributed to APIC shareholders in 2018.
Total assets amounted to USD 383.48 million as at December 31, 2018, an increase of 7.4% over 2017. Net equity attributed to APIC shareholders amounted to USD 115.6 million as at December 31, 2018, an increase of 22% over 2017.
APIC's market capitalization grew by 39%
Aggad noted that APIC's share price performed well throughout the year, and closed at USD 2.35 at the end of 2018, a growth of 18.7% compared to 2017. APIC's market capitalization grew to reach USD 192.7 million by the end of 2018, a growth of 39% compared to 2017. This growth was driven by the increase in the share price, as well as in the number of issued shares from 70 to 82 million shares; five million bonus shares (7.14%) were distributed to APIC shareholders, with an additional seven million shares issued in a private placement to APIC's partners in exchange for acquiring MSS in its entirety. This resulted in earnings per share amounting to 16 cents in 2018, compared to 17 cents in 2017 after taking into consideration the increase in APIC's paid-in capital from USD 70 million to USD 82 million.
Dividend distribution of 14.28% and increasing APIC's authorized capital to USD 100 million
Aggad indicated that in 2018, APIC distributed cash dividends to its shareholders amounting to USD 5 million (7.14%); accordingly, total distributed dividends (cash and bonus shares) amounted to USD 10 million, 14.28% of company's paid-in capital. Moreover, in 2018, APIC increased its authorized capital from USD 70 million to USD 100 million, a step towards increasing APIC's paid-in capital in the future.
APIC invested 8% of its net profit in social responsibility, amounting to USD 1.3 million
Aggad highlighted that APIC has maintained its effective social responsibility role in the communities within which it operates by continuing to form strategic partnerships with institutions that play an active role in Palestinian society, assisting them in fulfilling their missions, with a focus on the education and health sectors, entrepreneurial projects, youth as well as through supporting social, charitable, humanitarian and cultural institutions. In 2018, USD 1.3 million was invested in social responsibility by APIC and its group of subsidiaries, representing 8% of the company's net profit.
APIC is a foreign public shareholding investment holding company listed on the Palestine Exchange (APIC). It holds diversified investments across the manufacturing, trade, distribution and service sectors in Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through nine subsidiaries: Siniora Food Industries Company; Unipal General Trading Company; Palestine Automobile Company; Medical Supplies and Services Company; National Aluminum and Profiles Company (NAPCO); Sky Advertising and Public Relations and Event Management Company; Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers (BRAVO); Arab Leasing Company and Arab Palestinian Storage and Cooling Company. APIC is also one of the founding shareholders of Palestine Power Generation Company and owns shares in Bank of Palestine and Palestine Private Power Company, MadfooatCom, Islamic Finance House, and Al-Fares National Company for Investment & Export (Optimiza(.
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