KIPCO 2004 Profit Jumps 39 Per Cent to Record High of KD 25.24 Million (US$ 85.64) Million

Kuwait City, February 13, 2005 -- Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) Group, Kuwait’s largest and most diversified private sector company, has announced record net profit of KD 25.24 million (US$ 85.64 million), or 25.05 fils (8.5 cents) per share, for the year ended December 31, 2004, a 39 per cent increase compared to the KD 18.21 million (US$ 61.79 million) or 18.02 fils (6.1 cents) earned in 2003.

The Board has recommended a cash dividend of 18 per cent (18 fils per share) for 2004, up from 15 per cent (15 fils per share) in 2003.

KIPCO, with a portfolio of some 70 companies in financial services, media & telecommunications, management & advisory, real estate and industry throughout the Middle East and North Africa, also posted an 18 per cent rise in total consolidated assets, up to KD 808 million (US$ 2.741 billion) from KD 685 million (US$ 2.324 billion) in 2003. Total revenue was up 20 per cent to KD 72 million (US$ 244 million) compared to 2003’s KD 60 million (US$ 204 million).

The record figures - KIPCO’s 13th year of unbroken profitability – meet 2004 profit and cash dividend targets set by KIPCO managing director and chief executive officer Faisal Al Ayyar early in the year at the KIPCO Financial Outlook Forum.

“These record figures have been driven by our core companies, whose contribution to the net profit increased by 20 per cent in 2004 compared to the previous year,” said Al Ayyar. “It’s extremely gratifying that we have not only achieved our targets, but also reached record heights that provide a solid platform for future growth,’ he said.

KIPCO core companies’ strong 2004 figures underpinning the Group performance also met and exceeded targets set at the Financial Outlook Forum. United Gulf Bank achieved record earnings of KD 12.76 million (US$ 43.3 million); Gulf Insurance Company’s net profit grew 5 per cent to KD 5.78 million (US$ 20 million); Burgan Bank’s net profit rose 45 per cent to KD 29.6 million (US$ 100 million); and Wataniya Telecom’s net profit increased 21 per cent to KD 40 million (US$ 136 million).

KIPCO, with assets of US$ 10 billion under management, employs more than 10,000 people internationally, and its shares are among the most actively traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

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