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Profits of Oman’s listed firms rise 10% to RO193mn in Q1

4 Jun 2024 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Total net profits for listed companies in Oman increased by 10.1% in the first quarter of 2024 to $500.8mn (approximately RO193mn) compared to $455mn in the same period of 2023, according to a research reprot.

The increase in total profits of the companies listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) was mainly driven by higher profits for the banking, energy and diversified financial sectors during the January-March quarter, the report released by Kamco Investment said.

The sultanate’s banking sector witnessed net profits growth of 18.2% to $306.4mn in the first quarter of this year, up from $259.2mn in the first quarter of 2023. All the seven listed banks that disclosed their financials reported growth in their net earnings for the quarter.

As per the report, Sohar International Bank reported the biggest increase in absolute net earnings among the Omani banks during the first quarter. The bank’s net profit jumped from $34.5mn in the first quarter of 2023 to $65.3mn in the first quarter of 2024 on the back of the bank’s recent merger, Kamco Investment noted.

In contrast, Bank Muscat reported the biggest net profit among the banks at $140.9mn during the first quarter as compared to $133.2mn in the corresponding period of 2023.

‘The moderate growth of Bank Muscat’s quarterly net earnings was attributed to 18.3% increase in the bank’s non- interest income due to an overall improvement in various businesses lines and volume growth,’ Kamco Investment said.

On the other hand, total first quarter net profits of the diversified financial sector increased by 12.7% year-on-year to $54.1nn this year as compared to $48mn in the first quarter of 2023. OMINVEST posted the largest net profit among the 14 constituent companies in the sector at $24.1mn for the first quarter of 2024 despite recording a 17.8% year-on-year decline from $29.3mn in the first quarter of 2023. Dhofar International Development and Investment followed with net profits of $8.2mn, up from $7mnn in the first quarter of 2023.

For the telecommunications sector, net profits declined to $40.7mn in the first quarter of this year as compared to $62.3mn in the same period of 2023. The profit fall was mainly due to 39.4% decline of net profits reported by Omantel that reached $33.4mn down from $55.1mn in the same period a year ago. Moreover, first quarter net earnings for Ooredoo Oman stayed unchanged at $7.2mn.

However, net profits for the utilities sector registered a smaller net loss of $4.2mn as compared to a loss of $6.7mn in the first quarter of 2023. Three of out the seven companies in the utilities sector reported net losses; Phoenix Power Company (net loss of $11.2mn), Al Suwadi Power Company (net loss of $3.3mn) and Al Batinah Power Company which registered a net loss of $3.5mn.

On the other hand, Sembcorp Salalah recorded the highest net profit among the companies in the utilities sector at $12.8mn, only partially offsetting the overall decline in sector earnings.

GCC corporate earnings slide:

According to the Kamco Investment report, aggregate net profits reported by companies listed on the GCC exchanges dropped to the second lowest level in nine quarters during the first quarter of 2024 at $56.4bn as compared to $61.8bn in the same period of 2023.

The decline was mainly led by a year-on-year decline in profits for the energy, telecom and capital goods sectors partially offset by higher profits reported by mainly by banks, F&B and real estate companies.

Net profits for the GCC energy sector witnessed the biggest year-on-year decline during the first quarter of 2024 mainly led by fall in volumes sold by companies in the sector, partially offset by higher crude oil prices as compared to the first quarter of 2023.

On the other hand, healthy profits for the GCC banking sector helped to partially offset the bulk of the decline in earnings. Aggregate earnings for the GCC banking sector surged 11.5% year-on-year or by $1.5bn to reach $14.5bn in the first quarter of 2024.

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