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Wed 31 Oct 2007 09:53 AM

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Construction, industry drive Kipco profit

Kuwaiti holding firm's net income more than triples in Q3 to $155mn as revenues surge.

Kuwait Projects (Kipco), a diversified holdings firm, posted a more than tripling of third-quarter profit as revenues surged on growth of financial services, real estate and industrial businesses.

The company made 42.96 million dinars ($155 million), or 42.23 fils per share, in the three months ended September 30, up 258% from the year-earlier period, it said in a statement.

The quarterly profit was the second highest in any quarter, according to Reuters data going back to 2004.

A 192% jump in revenues drove the profit growth, Kipco, which manages more than $18 billion in assets, said. Revenues touched 111 million dinars in the three-month period, up from 38 million dinars a year earlier.

"Although they include some exceptional items, the results demonstrate the terrific underlying growth driving the performances of our financial services, real estate and industrial businesses," Kipco Managing Director Faisal Al-Ayyar said in a statement.

Ayyar did not name the exceptional items or give a breakdown of the revenues.

Kipco said in May it expected profit to grow tenfold this year following the sale of shares in National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya).

The holding firm led a group which sold 51% of the Kuwait mobile phone operator to Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel) for $3.72 billion in March, boosting first-quarter profit by more than 25 times. Kipco and one of its subsidiaries made 490.14 million dinars from the sale.

In June, Kipco bought a majority stake in Burgan Bank, and said it raised its holdings in Gulf Insurance and United Gulf Bank.

Kipco's profit was 12 million dinars, or 11.63 fils per share, in the third quarter of 2006, it said. - Reuters

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