Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG), publisher of Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Eqtisadiah, sayidaty and other leading publications in the Middle East, earned a net profit of SR287.4 million in the first half of this year.
“Preliminary financial results showed a 90 percent increase in SRMG’s net profits compared to the SR151.6 million profit it gained during the same period last year. As a result the profitability of its shares rose by 90 percent, reaching SR3.6 per share,” a company statement said.
The group realized a net profit of SR231.5 million in the second quarter of 2007 against SR90.5 million during the same period last year, the statement said. The surge in profits stemmed from a capital of SR161.3 million after the sale of a 30 percent stake in the Saudi Printing & Packaging Company (SPPC), a subsidiary of SRMG, in an initial public offering.
The group’s operating profits in the first half amounted to SR134.2 million compared to SR154 million for the same period last year. The 12 percent decline in operating profits was due to lower revenues from printing contracts. However, the company expected to receive more printing contracts in the coming months this year.
In a recent statement, Prince Faisal bin Salman, chairman of the group, said SRMG would invest its earnings from SPPC IPO to strengthen the group’s leading position in the publishing industry. SPPC made SR396 million from the IPO, which ended last Wednesday.
Prince Faisal highlighted SRMG’s strong financial position and liquidity, adding that the earnings from the IPO would further improve its position.
“Even without the IPO amount, SRMG’s financial position remains strong, enabling it to carry out its strategic plans and projects while ensuring a high level of quality in all its products,” the chairman said, adding that SRMG can provide good monetary supply through its operational activities.