By Andy Sambidge
Bahrain's GFH says nine-month profit up to $7.5m; unit is behind bid for English football club
Bahrain's Gulf Finance House, a unit of which is behind a takeover bid for English football club Leeds United, said on Sunday that it made a net profit of $7.5m in the first nine months of 2012.
In a statement, the bank said its net earnings had grown from $4.1m in the same period last year.
However it added that net profit for the third quarter of 2012 fell to $1.8m compared to $3.4m in Q3 2011.
The bank, whose unit GFH Capital is close to dealing a takeover deal for the Championship club, said total expenses for the third quarter more than halved to $6.9m.
"This decrease in total expenses was mainly attributable to continued efforts to maintain streamlined operations and reduced facilities," the company said in the statement.
It added that it had made "significant progress" on its restructuring plan that aims to improve the bank's capital structure, strengthen its balance sheet and raise funds to pursue its growth strategy.
Last month GFH Capital issued a statement after questions were raised in UK media about whether it had the capability to finance the deal to buy the football club.
A later statement issued earlier this month said the deal would be concluded "very soon".
Commenting on the Q3 results, Hisham Alrayes, acting CEO of GFH said: "The bank is fully committed to maintain the growth and profitability that we have recognised over the past few quarters, and remain at the forefront of the investment sector.
"After working on our liability restructuring and achieving excellent results, we shifted our focus to reviving our projects and supporting them towards accelerated development and progress. We are also pursuing a number of unique opportunities through our subsidiaries and associations."
Last month, GFH said that it was making "critical modifications" to its $1.4bn project in Morocco.
The company said in a statement that its Royal Ranches Marrakech was to change to meet new market conditions in Marrakech.
GFH was repeatedly forced into restructuring obligations in 2010 as the firm struggled with its debt burden in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.