Qatar's Nakilat posts 70% surge in profit


Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) posted a 70.3 per cent surge in first-quarter profit as investment income soared and it made more money from shipping liquefied natural gas.

Shares of Nakilat jumped as much as 5 per cent in early trading on the Doha index after the firm said it made 39.6 million riyals ($10.88 million) in profit attributable to shareholders, or 0.07 riyals per share, in the first quarter.

Nakilat had made 23.2 million riyals, or 0.02 riyals per share, in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on the bourse website.

The main driver of first-quarter profit was a 169.9 per cent jump in profit from Islamic banks, the company's financial statements showed.

Nakilat has invested money it made from an initial public offering until it pays for a new fleet of tankers used to carry LNG, which is gas chilled to liquid to make transportation easier.

Nakilat has ordered 54 new tankers as it expands in Qatar, holder of the world's third-biggest reserves of natural gas.

Its income from marine and agency services also grew 54 per cent, while its share of profits from joint ventures rose 26.8 per cent, data showed.

Expenses in the quarter grew to 9.49 million riyals from 5.84 million riyals a year earlier, Nakilat added.

The earnings included a minority interest of 125,000 riyals.

Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, plans to more than double LNG production to 77 million tonnes per year by 2010.

Oil prices rose to an all-time high of $114.08 a barrel on Tuesday. (Reuters)