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Record Profits for IFA Hotels & Resorts

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IFA Hotels & Resorts has reported year end profits of KD 37.46 million (US$ 143 million), which is 111 fils per share (42 cents per share), an increase of 64% compared to the same period last year.

Total revenues increased to US$ 211.47 million during 2008 compared to US$ 113.88 million in 2007, an increase of 86%. Shareholders' equity also increased to US$ 256.63 million compared to US$ 183.05 for 2007. The company's total assets increased by 35% to total US$ 1.057 billion for the current year. The board of directors also confirmed to its shareholders share dividends of 20 % bonus shares for this period.

The growth can be attributed to the strategic direction of the company by expanding in several key markets in the Middle East and South Africa, with a good outlook for its investments made last year in the Indian Ocean region, Europe and the United States.

Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, Chairman and Managing Director of IFA Hotels & Resorts said, ďThese record results where achieved through completing the first phase of our strategy of concentrating on emerging markets and ensuring strong presence in those markets. The future will see IFA Hotels & Resorts entering additional new markets.Ē

Last year, in the Middle East, a joint venture was formed with Nakheel with the acquisition of two plots of land adjacent to IFA HR's Kingdom of Sheba resort. Complementing IFA HR's existing presence on the Palm Jumeirah, the new plots of land will be an extension of the mixed use Kingdom of Sheba resort and will include a boutique hotel and residences, all to be managed by a leading international hotel operator. The same JV partnership launched the first freehold offices on the Palm Jumeirah at The Palm Golden Mile which was successfully sold by private auction in June 2007.

Additionally, residential buildings Al Nabat and Al Haseer (The Palm Residence), located on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, where handed over to customers during the first few months of 2008. Next year will see IFA HR delivering more than 1,700 residential units from its Dubai portfolio: Fairmont Palm Residence, The Palm Golden Mile and Laguna Tower.

IFA HR also launched the second phase of its Alabadiyah Hills project in Lebanon with the Kempinski Residences Alabadiyah Hills Lebanon, branded serviced apartments. Residences in the first phase of Alabadiyah Hills will also be handed over to customers during this year.

In Africa and the Indian Ocean region, the company announced during August 2007 the development of a luxurious Private Island Estate, Zilwa, on the 1,942,500 square metres island of Ste Anne in the Seychelles. During the same month in Africa, IFA HR expanded its South African portfolio by entering the wildlife hospitality market after acquiring a 50% stake in the Legend Golf & Safari Resort, located in South Africa's Limpopo Province. The Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and black rhinoceros) roam freely on the 220 million square meter development, which also includes an 18-hole championship golf course with each hole endorsed by the signature of one of the world's top professional golfers, a golf academy and an internationally branded five-star hotel. The company also re-opened its Fairmont Zanzibar property.

In Europe, IFA HR opened its second YOTEL hotel in the UK's Heathrow Airport, announced the entry of YOTEL into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, its first project in the Netherlands set to open in September this year. Global expansion continued by entering North America by completing a $300 million dollar hotel deal to be built in Central Manhattan.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, HotelsPromotions, New Hotels, IFA Hotels & Resorts

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