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Arabian Business, Thursday, May 16, 2019 | Ramadan 11, 1440

Bahrain's GFH acquires schools, eyes education push

Bahrain: Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group has signed a deal to acquire six schools as it plans to expand investments in the regional education sector.

The acquisition of the schools follows the launch of a $200 million education platform, the company said in a statement announcing its first quarter financial results.

Hisham Alrayes, group CEO of GFH, said: “We have launched our Britus $200 million education platform during the quarter and have been able to sign to acquire six new K-12 private schools in the region.

"We believe education is a highly specialised investment line and have plans to build on our track record and portfolio in this sector.”

The company reported a 6.47 percent increase in revenues, which reached $70.12 million in the first quarter of 2019 while net profit attributable to shareholders reached $21.36 million, down 41 percent from $36.48 million in the prior-year period. 

The decrease in net profits was attributed primarily due to lower contribution from the group’s commercial banking arm and extended closure of investment funds, which are expected to realise during the second quarter.

Supporting the results for the first quarter of 2019 was the significant contribution from the proprietary investments revenue stream of the Group with a successful exit of 40 percent stake in its Bahrain-based Al Areen Hotel, against acquisition of the Hotel Tower in Villamar development, which contributed $29.40 million.

Total assets increased to $5.91 billion and liabilities also increased to $4.50 billion, primarily due to additional money market activities.

Jassim Al Seddiqi, chairman of GFH, said: “GFH continues to focus on and invest in diversifying our business and investment portfolio to deliver steady revenue generation through varied business lines. Notwithstanding the sizeable investments that we have made into further developing the business in the first quarter of 2019 we have delivered sound performance that we expect to be further enhanced in the forthcoming periods of 2019.”

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