Abu Dhabi, 14 February 2018 — The National Investor (ADX: TNI), an Abu Dhabi-based privately owned joint stock company has announced its unaudited results for the 12-month period ending 31 December 2017. TNI generated consolidated operating revenues of AED 134 million (FY 2016: AED 153.5 million) and significantly turned around its bottom line to a net profit of AED 7.5 million (FY 2016: Net Loss AED
1.7 million). This improvement is primarily driven by stronger than expected trading gains that translated into 12% net returns on TNI’s direct public equities investments, and rationalization of our overall general and administrative expenses. The positive performance was also fuelled by improved fee generating activities from the Asset Management business, which saw the UAE Blue Chip Fund outperform its benchmark, the S&P UAE Domestic Capped Index, by 4.1%. These results were achieved despite extremely challenging market conditions at a time when the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index (ADSMI) fell by 4.6% and 3.3% respectively.
During the course of the year, we remained committed to our key strategic objective of enhancing our recurring revenue generating capabilities and maintaining relatively low operating costs. Furthermore, we have a sufficiently large portfolio of liquid assets representing nearly 40% of our total balance sheet, which coupled with a particularly low level of debt at the consolidated level provides us with the requisite operating flexibility and leverage when it comes to pursuing new strategic investments and opportunities.
Segmental information and other financial highlights:
During the year 2017, equity markets in the GCC started the year on a positive note in the first half of the year, followed by negative trends that continued during the third and fourth quarters. These events led to a difficult business environment, particularly in our Investment Banking Advisory business due to the widespread uncertainty across capital markets. The Asset Management and Principal Investments divisions, however, generated most of our profits in the fiscal year 2017.
Total expenses for the year amounted to AED 125 million, representing a decrease of 12% compared to 2016, mainly due to cost-cutting initiatives that were implemented during the second half of 2015.
Consolidated assets stood at AED 784 million (December 2016: AED million 833 million), a decline of AED 49 million, mainly resulting from the disposal of certain leveraged fixed income investments. Our current asset base includes a healthy consolidated cash position of AED 144 million. Leverage ratio at a consolidated level decreased to 6% at year-end compared to 11% as at 31 December 2016 and total equity attributable to the company stood at AED 663 million (December 2016: AED 661 million).
Mr. Abdullah Mazrui, Chairman of TNI, commented:
“Our fee generating businesses have proved to be resilient and we have significantly improved our financial stability during 2017. TNI’s balance sheet is robust and we continue to have healthy levels of liquidity. We have made a concerted effort during the year to streamline our balance sheet with a view to improving the return on assets and we have continued to strengthen the business model with a clear focus on improving our principal investments and private equity portfolios”.