OSN growth boosts KIPCO profits

Rebecca Hawkes | 20-02-2014

Middle East pay-TV operator OSN has performed well to propel its major investor, KIPCO, to record a 75% net profit for the fourth quarter of 2013-14.

The Kuwaiti investment company said its net profit in the three months to 31 December 2013 was KD14 million (US$49.7 million), compared to KD8 million ($28.4 million) in the same period last year.

The holding company recorded “very positive performance trends” in all its core sectors, which include banking, media, real estate and insurance, said Faisal Al Ayyar, vice chairman, KIPCO.

“In particular, our broadcast company, OSN, continued to deliver strong improvement in revenue and profit, and subscriber numbers are now close to the one million mark,” he added.

The 2013 results mark KIPCO’s 22nd consecutive year of profitability. Its board has recommended a cash dividend of 20% and a 5% stock dividend.
KIPCO holds a 60.5% stake in the Dubai-based satellite TV network OSN, which was valued at about US$4.3 billion in November 2013 by brokerage Arqaam Capital.

In 2012, OSN claimed a 30% increase in subscribers – reaching 734,000 households across the Middle East and North Africa, according to Arqaam. OSN’s revenues also grew 24% and its subscriber base grew 22% during the first nine months of 2013, according to the brokerage.

KIPCO has made no further mention of the initial public offering (IPO) that it was considering for OSN last June.