Gulf International Services (“GIS”), the largest service group in Qatar with interests in a broad cross-section of industries, ranging from insurance, re-insurance, fund management, onshore and offshore drilling, helicopter transportation, and facilities management, announced its 2010 first half results yesterday.

“In the first half of the year, the group successfully implemented key elements of its 2010 budget, resulting in revenue totalling QR759.2 million and net profits of QR249.9 million,” stated Mr. Ebrahim Al-Mannai, Chief Coordinator, Gulf International Services.  “Although these results show a marginal year on year decrease, they are in line with our budgeted expectations, with revenue and net profit variances to budget of 3.6% and 9.1% respectively.”

Compared to the first half of 2009, revenue in the helicopter transportation segment increased by QR20.7 million, or 10.5%, to QR218.6 million.  This increase was driven primarily by helicopter acquisitions, leading to an increased number of higher rate helicopters.  The group acquired 3 new helicopters during the year, bringing the total number to 36 helicopters (versus 33 in the same period last year.

The underlying insurance and reinsurance business saw premium and net commission year on year growth of QR7.5 million, or 3.3%, to a total of QR236.9 million.  This growth was primarily driven by improvements in the non-energy part of the business.

Revenue in the drilling business totalled QR304.6 million in the period, a decrease of QR39.3 million, or 11.4%, on last year.  The decrease was expected, and can be attributed to one of the offshore rigs, Al-Rayyan, undergoing routine maintenance.  The adverse variance to budget for the period was only QR1.1 million, or 0.4%, underscoring the predicted nature of the lay-off and rate reductions.  Other than Al-Rayyan, all offshore and onshore rigs experienced utilisation rates of 100%.

“GIS is a strong and well-diversified group, with robust growth plans. Despite the challenges witnessed, we are confident that if market conditions remain as expected, we will achieve our full year budget targets of QR1.5 billion of revenue and net profits of QR0.4 billion.  Results for the first half of 2010 were consistent with our budget, and the group is on target to successfully execute its plans for the balance of the year,” remarked Mr. Al-Mannai.

Key highlights of the second half plans include:

1)   Development of new markets for the medical insurance business, with expectations that more companies will be added to Al-Koot’s growing portfolio of serviced clients.
2)   Expectations to acquire 2 further helicopters for use in the local market, thereby increasing the number available for overseas deployment.
3)   Active negotiations into alternative contracts for 1 offshore and 1 onshore rig that may become ex-contract by year end.  GIS is confident that new opportunities will be identified for the rigs and existing drilling utilisation rates will be maintained.

In concluding remarks, Mr. Al-Mannai stated, “I would like to thank the Chairman and Managing Director, H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, for his vision and leadership, and the senior management and staff of our subsidiaries and joint venture for their hard work, commitment and dedication.”