* Q4 net profit 11.8 million dinars vs 9.54 million a year ago
* Analysts had predicted average 32.78 million dinars
* Restructuring programme behind profit rise - chairman (Recasts with Q4 figures and analyst estimates)
KUWAIT, Feb 17 Kuwait's biggest Islamic lender, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) reported a 24 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday thanks to its restructuring programme but the numbers fell short of analyst estimates.
KFH said last year it was reshuffling its top management and planned to work with advisors to sell, merge or restructure unprofitable subsidiaries after a fall in profits in 2011.
"The growth in KFH's 2012 financial results confirms the success of KFH's Transformation Programme," KFH Chairman Mohammad Al-Khudairi, said in an emailed statement, saying this had put the group on the right track for sustainable profits.
In the fourth quarter of 2012 net profit was 11.8 million Kuwaiti dinars, according to a Reuters calculation based on financial statements, compared to 9.54 million dinars in the same period a year earlier.
Four analysts in a Reuters survey had predicted 32.78 million dinars net profit on average for the quarter to end-December.
The board proposed a 10 percent cash dividend and 10 percent bonus shares for shareholders, KFH said. ($1 = 0.2823 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy, Writing by Sylvia Westall, Editing by William Maclean)