13/06/2018 08:26 AST

The Investment Corporation of Dubai, the sovereign wealth fund of the emirate, reported a 12.4 per cent rise in 2017 net income due to record revenues from a turnaround in the transportation business and higher bank income.

Profit attributable to the equity holders of the company climbed to Dh20.2 billion, from Dh17.99bn reported at the end of 2016, ICD said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. It is a turnaround for the emirate’s SWF with strategic holdings including airlines Emirates and flydubai, stakes in Emirates Global Aluminium and Dubai’s biggest lender Emirates NBD.

ICD posted a 21 per cent drop in profitability in 2016 due to a sharp decline in transportation income. “In 2017, the portfolio of ICD delivered a strong financial and operational performance despite challenging market conditions impacted by an increase in interest rates and currency volatility,” said Mohammed Al Shaibani, executive director and chief executive of ICD.

“These results reflect the continuous focus of ICD on growing its key businesses and achieving meaningful operational efficiencies that will support long-term growth and contribute to the prosperity of Dubai.”

ICD said its 2017 revenues soared over Dh200bn, a 13.8 per cent year-on-year increase, supported by higher contributions from oil and gas and transportation services segments of its business.

Assets at the end of last year also climbed to a record Dh844.3bn, a 9.7 per cent rise from 2016, while liabilities rose by 10 per cent to Dh616.8bn for the period.

Increases in assets and liabilities were driven by the acquisition of an aircraft leasing business and the rise in lending and customer deposit activities in the banking and financial services segment. ICD’s share of equity increased by 9.4 per cent to Dh190bn from the year-end level in 2016, ICD said. Emirates and flydubai, the Dubai airlines that pulled ICD’s profits lower in 2016 amid difficult operating conditions for the global aviation sector, returned to profit growth in 2017.

Emirates reported an 82 per cent slump in 2016 earnings, while flydubai recorded a 68.6 per cent drop in 2016 net profit. Emirates, the world’s biggest operator of wide-body aircraft, reported a 124 per cent rise in profit for its last fiscal year as revenues soared and the US dollar declined against major currencies in most of its key markets, the airline said in May. Emirates reported a net profit of Dh2.8bn for the fiscal year ending March 31, while the parent company Emirates Group, which also includes its Dnata ground-handling operations and cargo, posted a 67 per cent rise in profit to Dh4.1bn in the same period.

The low-cost airline flydubai, which last year signed an expanded codeshare agreement with sister airline Emirates, reported an 18 per cent rise in net profit to Dh37.3 million from Dh31.6m in 2016. Total revenues increased 9.2 per cent to Dh5.5bn compared to Dh5bn in 2016.

Flydubai carried 10.9 million passengers in 2017 – a record number for the airline – and passenger numbers grew by 5.5 per cent compared to the previous year, it said in February.

ICD, which was established in 2006, has a portfolio that includes some of Dubai’s most recognised companies, deemed strategic for the development and growth of the emirate. Its local and international holdings span financial services, transportation, energy and industry, real estate and leisure and retail.

In December, ICD led an additional $47m (Dh172.6m) investment for Indigo, bringing the farming technology start-up’s latest financing round to $203m. The Boston company is valued at $1.4bn after the latest round.

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