Bahrain's Gulf Finance House doubles Q4 profit on investment revenue

DUBAI Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:09am EST

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DUBAI Feb 23 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House , whose unit is in the process of selling a majority stake in English soccer club Leeds United, said on Sunday its fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled due to revenue derived from investments.

The investment firm made a net profit of $5.2 million in the three months to Dec. 31, up from $2.5 million in the prior-year period, it said in a statement.

It cited "income generated from investment advisory and the sale of investments" for the increase. It did not elaborate.

However, for the 2013 full year, GFH's net profit fell 37.2 percent to $6.3 million.

This decline came despite a 20 percent reduction in operating costs, as the firm continued to aggressively cut expenses in the wake of a number of debt restructurings in recent years.

GFH, through its Dubai-based subsidiary GFH Capital, agreed to sell 75 percent of Leeds United to Italian Massimo Cellino earlier this month, subject to the takeover being sanctioned by the Football League governing body.

In its earnings statement on Sunday, GFH said the sale would "support value creation at Leeds to ensure strong future returns on this investment".

Leeds supporters groups have expressed their concern over the takeover as Cellino, whose family have been involved with Italian side Cagliari since 1992, has a criminal conviction for fraud in his homeland.

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