Egypt Independent

Orascom Construction Q4 net falls more than expected

Egyptian group Orascom Construction reported a 34 percent drop in quarterly net income, missing expectations after being hit by debt restructuring and other charges.

OCI said on Tuesday fourth-quarter net profit fell to US$123 million, compared with a forecast for $176 million in a poll supplied by the company.

The biggest company in Egypt by market value has managed to keep operating profit growing despite economic turmoil at home as it boosts exports of fertilizers and benefits from infrastructure growth across the Middle East.

Its consolidated construction backlog was $6.4 billion by the end of last year, up 7.7 percent from three months earlier.

OCI said its fertilizer plants operated at full capacity in the fourth quarter, urea and ammonia prices had recovered and its planned expansion in the United States, Egypt, Algeria and the Netherlands was on track.

The company plans to split its construction and fertilizer businesses and aims to hold a shareholder meeting next month to approve the demerger.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization grew 6.8 percent to $341 million, compared with a forecast for $347 million, while revenue grew 7 percent to $1.41 billion.

One-off items pulled net income down by $51.5 million, including charges related to early repayment of debt, expenses for an employee stock option plan and a reduction in investment income, OCI said.