At its annual Investors Forum, KIPCO – the Kuwait Projects Company – said it expected its core companies to achieve double-digit revenue increases in 2013.

The announcement was made at the company’s annual Shafafiyah (transparency) Investors Forum where KIPCO presented a review of 2012 and guidance for 2013 to an audience of shareholders, financial analysts and institutional investors.

The Investors Forum followed the company’s General Assembly meeting where KIPCO shareholders approved a cash dividend of 20 per cent (20 fils per share) and a stock dividend of 5 per cent.

As part of its review of the last 12 months, KIPCO said 2012 was its twenty-first consecutive year of profitability and that it had met its 2012 objectives by continuing its regional expansion, repaying debt and reducing costs. The company also highlighted key performances of Group companies during 2012.  KIPCO said that considering market circumstances, all its companies were performing well and that the prospects for an increase in revenues over the next twelve months looked very promising.

KIPCO expects Burgan Bank Group and OSN to increase their revenues by 25% or more during the year while Gulf Insurance Group – the MENA region’s leading insurance group –– is likely to increase its premiums written by 10% or more in 2013. The company also said its food manufacturing and real estate businesses were expecting to see revenue growth of 15% and 10% respectively during the next twelve months.

Speaking at the Forum, KIPCO’s Vice Chairman, Mr Faisal Al Ayyar, said:

“At last year’s Investor’s Forum, we set ourselves three key objectives: continue regional expansion, repay debt and reduce costs. Just like we have done each year since we started our Shafafiyah event, we have delivered the promises we made. In 2012, we expanded our geographical presence through acquisitions in the insurance markets of Iraq and the UAE and by buying Eurobank Tekfen in Turkey. During the year, United Gulf Bank, UIC and KAMCO also repaid a total of KD 120 million of debt and cut their operating costs. This demonstrates our commitment to shareholders and our ability to drive our businesses in the right direction.”

Commenting on the outlook for 2013, Mr Al Ayyar said:

“We enter 2013 with a portfolio of solid operational assets. We believe most of the companies within the KIPCO Group will continue – and indeed accelerate – the growth they have achieved over the last two years. As a result, we expect to see double-digit revenue growth from all our core companies in 2013. We expect all our companies to do better than they did this year. We also sense that 2013 could be a turning point in the outlook for the regional and local economies and our companies are ready to maximize the opportunities from this potential improvement in their respective markets.”