GCC corporates post 19% rise in net profit in Q1

Kuwait Financial Centre research shows Kuwait companies performed strongest with 98% rise
GCC corporates post 19% rise in net profit in Q1
Kuwait corporates showed the strongest performance in the GCC in Q1, according to Markaz.
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 25 May 2011 07:14 PM

GCC corporates posted a 19 percent growth in earnings in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to research by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

Total earnings, which came in at $13.8bn, were more than double the profits posted during the previous quarter, Markaz said on Wednesday.

The highest growth was seen in Kuwait with profits hitting $2.1bn, a near doubling from Q1 2010.

Earnings in Saudi Arabia held strong, Markaz said, with a 23 percent growth while the UAE was flat at $2.8bn.

Corporate earnings in the first quarter of this year were driven by strong performances from commodities companies and banks.

"The region's continued dominance as a petrochemical hub, global recovery, low cost advantages and spikes in commodity prices augured well for companies across the region," Markaz said in a statement.

Aggregate net profits from the commodities sector were $3.3bn, up 51 percent year-on-year.

Banking continued to deliver the highest profits, at $5.2bn while robust demand and access to low cost funds improved spreads in the quarter, Markaz added.

Its report said Qatar maintained its earnings momentum with $2.4bn in corporate profits, a growth of 13 percent over Q1 2010.

However, Oman's corporate earnings declined 26 percent to $338m as political turmoil impacted the sultanate.

Bahrain's corporates came back from red to register $315m of profits in the first quarter. However profits were 10 percent lower year-on-year, a result of the kingdom's political unrest, Markaz added.

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