DSI Q4 profit beats view

Contractor Drake & Scull International reported a higher fourth-quarter profit on Thursday as the firm's projects in Saudi Arabia gained momentum.

Drake, in which Goldman Sachs bought warrants worth $40 million, reported a fourth-quarter net profit of Dh46 million ($12.5 million), the company said in a statement on Dubai's bourse.

This compares to a net profit of Dh42 million reported during the same period in 2011, a spokesman told Reuters after the announcement.

The earnings beat estimates of four analysts who forecast an average quarterly net profit of Dh17.5 million.

Revenue for the quarter was Dh1.2 billion.

The company attributed its fourth quarter growth to construction progress in its civil projects across Saudi, one of the contractor's key markets.

Drake's joint venture with Arabian Construction Co. won a new $720 million contract in Saudi Arabia in December, one among a series of contract wins last year in the kingdom.

"We expect substantial announcements in Q1 for the civil and MEP businesses in our primary markets and particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar," Chief Financial Officer Osama Hamdan said in the statement.

Goldman Sachs bought warrants worth Dh147 million ($40 million) in Drake less than a week after helping arrange a loan facility for the contracting firm.

Drake said its total order backlog reached Dh9.1 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 30 percent.

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