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French Version


Solidere profits reach $41 million for 2001 - Increased sales lift earnings (Daily Star)

The giant real estate company Solidere made impressive results last year as sales of properties surged to an all-time high. According to a statement issued Wednesday, Solidere recorded an audited net profit of $41 million in 2002 compared to $1.9 million in 2001.

Gross revenues from the sale of lands in 2002 stood at $122 million, an increase of 94 percent compared to 2001, and gross revenues from the sale of built properties reached $6.8 million in 2002. Solidere has over 95,000 square meters of properties in the Beirut Central District (BCD). Prices of properties in the BCD have risen over the past few years as Lebanese and Arab investors have shown keen interest in the district.

The price of a square meter of land in some parts of the BCD has exceeded $7,000, one of the highest in the Middle East. The statement said most of the remaining 95,000 square meters of completed properties will probably be sold this year. Many of these properties were sold to Gulf nationals following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US. Total leased properties in 2002 reached $14 million com

pared to $10.6 million in 2001, an increase of 32 percent.
The other factor which contributed to the positive results last year was the drop in the cost of debt, which last year fell by 24 percent to $25 million, compared to $33 million in 2001. The level of bank debts in 2002 fell to $320 million from $343 million in 2001, with the average debt representing 19.4 percent of the total shareholders’ equity.

Solidere sold 1 million of its shares in 2002, with the right to buy them back, at $6 per share and 5.75 percent interest, which has allowed the company to inject $6 million into its cash liquidity.

In the first quarter of 2003, Solidere sold another 600,000 shares at $6.50 per share with 5 percent interest. Solidere has continued to follow a prudent policy to cut spending, and in 2002 the company’s total spending was only $9 million.

Solidere shares dominate trading in the dormant Beirut Stock Exchange, with prices of Solidere A and B shares ranging between $4.50-$5 per share, which many investors see as below market value.


Beirut 12-05-2003
Osama Habib
The Daily Star



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