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Qalaa Holdings reports revenue growth of 39%

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Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings, a leader in energy and infrastructure (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange, formerly Citadel Capital), has released its consolidated financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June 2018, reporting EBITDA growth of 52% y-o-y to $ 15.3 million on revenues of $ 172.9 million up 39% y-o-y. Strong growth came on the back of a solid performance by the Group’s energy division coupled with the consolidation of National Printing, which began during the first quarter of 2018. The Group recorded a net profit of $ 27.2 million in 2Q18, largely driven by non-cash gains of $ 72.5 million delivered through restructuring efforts. On a six month basis, Qalaa’s net profit came in at $16.8 million on revenues of $ 347.7 million in 1H18, up 43% y-o-y.

“I am very pleased with our company’s performance in the second quarter and first half of 2018,” said Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “Our core energy and infrastructure subsidiaries continue to deliver operational growth as they capitalize on favorable market dynamics. Strong revenue growth saw Qalaa report a solid 52% increase in its EBITDA for 2Q18, with bottom-line profitability buoyed as gains from restructuring efforts offset interest expenses carried at the holding and subsidiary levels.”

In 2Q18, Qalaa recorded, $51.3 million non-cash gain from the deconsolidation of the operational liabilities (net of FX reserve & minority interest) under Africa Railways. This, however, is only a partial deconsolidation as Qalaa expects a second one-off non-cash gain of c. $ 139.5 million (related to the debt portion of Africa Railways) during the coming months once a sale or liquidation takes place.

Additionally, Qalaa booked a gain of $19.2 million at the holding level in 2Q18 related to acquisition and restructuring activities. The gain was primarily generated from a differential between National Printing’s consolidated book value and its fair market value as determined by an independent financial advisor, as well as the purchase of a loan from one of Qalaa’s subsidiaries which was settled directly with the bank at a discount.

“Our results in the second quarter reflect our ongoing efforts to streamline and optimize our portfolio with the company beginning to harvest the merits of its strategy,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa Holding’s Co-Founder and Managing Director. “Our decision to bring National Printing into the fold is already seeing it make significant top- and bottom-line contributions, while efforts to clean-up our portfolio and shed discontinued operations has paid off as the account reports almost zero losses in 2Q18.”

“Meanwhile, as previously communicated we have booked an expected non-cash gain on the partial deconsolidation of Africa Railways nearing $ 55.8 million. We are actively exploring avenues to sell or liquidate the company and trigger the complete deconsolidation of its debt obligation which should result in a further gain of c. $ 139.6 million in the coming months. Together said gains will help offset the effect of a related impairment of $ 178.7 million booked in FY17, and consequently strengthen our financial position as we head into the next growth phase for Qalaa,” El-Khazindar added.

“As we bring our company closer to the cusp of sustainable operational profitability, we are actively gearing up for the next growth phase across our subsidiaries. At TAQA Arabia, we have earmarked c.$ 446.7 million in investments over the coming three years that will see us accelerate the company’s distribution reach with more filling stations, diversify into renewable energy with our pilot solar project in Benban and expand our exposure to conventional energy through investments in coal-fired power plants. Qalaa is also looking to increase its ownership in the Egyptian Refining Company’s transformative project which is now 98% complete with start of commissioning by end of 2018. Meanwhile, new capacities for RDF production at Tawazon have already been procured and commissioning is expected by 2019. Said investments alongside similar ventures in our mining and logistics platforms will see Qalaa continue to deliver on this growth momentum and cement its position as an African leader in energy and infrastructure,” Heikal concluded.

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Companies

MTN Uganda launches 5G connectivity, first in East Africa and 3rd in Africa with connection

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By Reporter

MTN Uganda has today taken internet connectivity to another level. With fourth-generation (4G) technology still staggering, the leading telecom company in Uganda has introduced 5G connectivity. At an event today at the offices in Kololo, MTN Uganda demonstrated the first live demo of 5G network in Uganda in an event presided over by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhana Rugunda who represented President Yoweri Museveni fulfilling their earlier promise to commercially roll out 5G in before 2020 ends.“5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratizing voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience,” said MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte.

It is also expected that with an adequate spectrum allocated to the 5G standard, the increased capacity would result in lower data cost to Uganda.

MTN is working with South Korean firm ZTE the market leaders in 5G. ZTE is already working with operators to out 5+.

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Local Business

MTN MoMoPay Customers to win free shopping worth UGX 1,000,000 in a Trolley Dash experience.

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By Staff Writer

MTN is set to reward its customers who have embraced paying for their goods and services using the Telecom giant’s mobile payment platform, MTN MoMo Pay.

MoMo Pay is an MTN service that allows customers to pay for their goods and services directly from their mobile money accounts using their mobile devices at no cost. Retailers and businesses receive the payments for the goods and services instantly.

Up to 20 customers will be selected from a draw to participate in a trolley dash where they shall be allowed to shop merchandise of up to 1 million shillings in 60 seconds. To stand a chance to enter the draw, customers are required to make 2 MoMoPay transactions each week. 

Ali Monzer the General Manager Mobile Financial Services said the promotion is MTN’s way of giving back to customers for adopting the service one year since it was launched. “The response from customers has been overwhelming. Many of the people have appreciated the convenience of having to pay for all their goods and services using MoMo Pay. Thus we felt the need to thank them by giving back to them and that’s why we launched this promotion.”

MoMo Pay is MTN’s way of creating convenience for customers and merchants alike. “The world is going cashless today. It’s now more convenient to go cashless than to carry lots of cash on you. You can literally run your life using MoMo Pay. You can pay for your meals, medication, car service, shopping and several other services using MoMo Pay,” Monzer said.

This service is available to merchants who register for the service and all MTN Mobile Money customers.

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Local Business

Harvest Money Expo 4th edition launched

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By Our Reporter

dfcu Bank in partnership with Vision Group and the Netherlands Embassy have launched this year’s edition of the Harvest Money Expo that will take place from 14 th – 16 th February, at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole.

Under the theme ‘Value Addition’, dfcu Bank and its partners seek to improve production and marketing of agricultural products to increase the commodity value in order to ensure a rise in sales, market growth and that farmers get a good price for their products.

The Harvest Money Expo initiative, now in its 4th edition, aims to highlight the contribution of agriculture to the development of the economy and also change the negative perception that most Ugandans hold towards agriculture as not being a good career option.

Speaking during the Expo launch, dfcu Bank’s CEO, Mathias Katamba, said; “The economy of Uganda can be transformed through mechanization improvement of agriculture, commercialization and taking advantage of the unique nature of our country’s weather and soils. As dfcu Bank, we would like to offer more support to the agricultural industry by giving farmers access to equipment for agricultural mechanization through our asset financing product.”

Mr. Katamba also reiterated the need to get young people involved in agriculture to grow the sector.

Last year, over 28,000 people attended the Harvest Money Expo. This year, the sponsors and organizers are aiming for a target of over 35,000 people who will include; farmers, business representatives, the general public, foreign exhibitors from various countries. The Netherlands Embassy has promised to have a ‘Netherlands Village’ at the Expo, where 48 companies including 16 top Dutch agriculture companies will showcase, share knowledge and farming experiences.

The Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga said; “The Harvest Money Expo has become a calendar event for every farmer because of the benefits they get from it. It is also a social event where people come to socialize and share knowledge.”

This year’s Harvest Money Expo will also have in attendance all the past winners of the Best farmers’ competition.

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