The meeting was chaired by Shaikh Hamed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairman of Naseej, Mr. Abdulkareem Bucheery, Vice Chairman and Mr. Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, Managing Director of the company, and in the presence of fellow board members and shareholders.
Shaikh Hamed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa announced the company's financial results for the year ending 31st December 2018, noting that Naseej had performed positively for 2018, and announcing a ninth year of continuous profitability since its inception in 2009. Net income for the year was recorded at BD 4 million. He also said that the company managed to reduce total expenses to BD 2.4 million compared to BD 2.8 million in 2017, indicating the success of measures taken during the year to reduce costs.
Revenues from construction and associated services amounted to BD 10.9 million, while direct construction costs amounted to BD 6.9 million. At the end of 2018, total assets amounted to BD 151 million and shareholders' equity amounted to BD 115.8 million. At the meeting held on 27thMay 2019, the Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 4.7% (BD 5.1 million) for approval by shareholders.
"In spite of the challenges and volatility of the past year, the company has been able to deliver a satisfactory overall performance," said Shaikh Hamed Al Khalifa.
The Chairman also noted that, Bahrain's real estate sector activity in 2018 was generally slower. The developers have faced the challenge of adapting to the new regulations introduced by RERA, as well as the need to incur additional costs such as the recently implemented infrastructure tax. At the same time, many investors have adopted a more cautious approach to new investment opportunities. Nevertheless, some sub-sectors, such as the low- and middle-income housing sector, continue to witness a marked increase in demand.
Due to market changes, the Board of Directors and the Executive Management Group met during the year to review the company's strategy. While maintaining its primary focus on affordable housing projects in Bahrain, Naseej intends to diversify its investment portfolio by looking for carefully selected opportunities in related sectors such as residential retailing, education, health and tourism. We will continue to pursue our prudent approach to work and investment, focusing on projects that are based on sustainable and risk-free market demand, an approach we have to give higher value to our shareholders and end users alike.
As for the company's current business, the Chairman highlighted a new housing project in the Jed El-Hajj area, located in Budaiya, which will consist of a series of villas connected to low-income affordable prices. The project will also target a large segment of Bahrainis on the social housing list of Mazaya, the innovative government program of the Ministry of Housing. Shaikh Hamed also mentioned the company's future plans to expand in Muharraq Governorate and announce two residential projects in Arad and Al Busaiteen areas.
"We expect 2019 to be another challenging year, but we are optimistic about the company's future prospects." Our Kingdom continues to make significant progress in diversifying its economy, attracting more foreign direct investment, addressing the budget deficit, "said Shaikh Hamed.
"In addition, the government's ongoing reform initiatives to strengthen the regulation of the real estate market will contribute to the growth and development of the sector and will have a positive impact on investor confidence."
In conclusion, Shaikh Hamed Al Khalifa expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Prime Minister and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for their wise leadership and fruitful reform program, as well as encouraging them to participate more actively by the private sector. He also thanked the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Finance and all other governmental institutions for their constructive support and guidance. The Chairman also thanked all employees for their dedication and support during 2018 and wished them continued success and prosperity.