Kuwait Finance House Q1 profit rises but misses estimates

KUWAIT, April 19 Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:15am EDT

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KUWAIT, April 19 (Reuters) - Kuwait Finance House (KFH) , the country's biggest Islamic lender, reported a 13 percent rise in first quarter net profit on Saturday, missing analyst estimates.

Net profit rose to 26.06 million dinars ($92.54 million) in the first three months of 2014 from 23.0 million dinars in the same period a year ago, the lender said in a statement. Revenues were 1 percent higher at 224.4 million dinars.

Five analysts in a Reuters poll had estimated an average net profit of 32.76 million dinars for the quarter. KFH's net profit more than doubled in the last quarter of 2013.

In the statement, Chairman Hamad al-Marzouq referred to a recent visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Kuwait and said KFH wanted to expand in Turkey and adjacent countries' markets, without giving details. The Kuwaiti company is already operating in the country through its unit KFH Turkey.

KFH's total assets were 17.3 billion dinars at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 16 percent compared to the same time last year while deposits rose 7 percent to 636 million dinars, the bank said.

Shares in the company closed at 0.85 dinars on Thursday on the Kuwaiti stock market, which reopens on Sunday. ($1 = 0.2816 Kuwaiti Dinars) (Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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