CAIRO: Swiss-based developer Orascom Development Holding s fourth-quarter net profit jumped 50 percent after the company sold land in Oman and tourism began to recover from the financial crisis.
Reuters calculated a quarterly profit of 44.7 million Swiss francs ($42 million) for the firm, which lists depositary receipts in Egypt, based on a stated full-year 2009 profit of 138.6 million francs and nine-month profit of 93.9 million francs.
Orascom s main presence is in Egypt, however new projects in the United Kingdom, Montenegro, Romania, Switzerland and Morocco are expected to drive the firm s future profits, Orascom said in an earnings statement on Tuesday.
Beltone analyst Menatallah Sadek said she expects the company to benefit from a continued recovery in tourism and ongoing deliveries of homes this year.
I think 2010 should be a good year, there will be a recovery in occupancy rates, she said. Since the company did well on the operations side, in keeping costs down during the crisis, I think this will benefit their margins.
Orascom s Swiss shares jumped 1.7 percent by 1220 GMT, while the Swiss Market Index was up 0.4 percent.
The company said its gross profit from land sales in 2009 jumped to 25 million francs from 2 million francs in 2008, driven largely by land sales in Oman, helping boost its bottom line despite a dip in revenue.
Orascom Development mostly builds and manages mixed-use resorts, but also owns land, hotels and budget housing in countries across the Middle East and Europe.
In 2008, its fourth-quarter net profit was 29.9 million francs based on full-year profit of 115.6 million francs and nine-month profit of 85.7 million francs.
Its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 169.7 million francs, down from 181.2 million francs the year before.
Orascom s Cairo-listed depositary receipts shed 0.4 percent, while the main index lost 0.5 percent.