On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome you to our site. As a stakeholder of First Bahrain, we invite you to interact with us here.
We sincerely appreciate the trust the Shareholders have placed in us and in turn we aspire to manage your resources with transparency and integrity.
In the midst of a most difficult year marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic, I am very pleased to report to you that our hard work to grow and diversify our holdings, over my term as Chairman, has positioned us to achieve a profit nearly double the previous year and produce a cash position that is at its strongest in over a decade. From this strong cash position, I am pleased to recommend the distribution of a dividend of 5 fils per share, subject to the approval of the annual general assembly.
We successfully delivered the El Balcón Mall, which began operations in December with the opening of its anchor, Starbucks, with 24/7 drive thru service. Construction progress on the adjacent Jarir Bookstore had reached 64% at year-end as we look towards delivery of this built-to-suit property during the middle of the coming year. The combined occupancy of the two projects reached 70% signalling that the project is on its way to becoming commercially successful portion of our diversified portfolio of income generating properties. Six additional home sales further supported our cash position in the midst of the pandemic as El Mercado Village became a highly desirable place to live, within walking distance to the Alosra Supermarket and other services. Restaurants and other services at El Mercado Mall did have a difficult time because of the restrictions related to the pandemic but the situation is now improving with the vaccine role out. Rounding out our portfolio and proving the value of our diversification strategy, industrial properties buoyed our results adding an element of stability.
As we work together towards a good future, may Almighty Allah grant us all sustained success and prosperity.
Waleed Ahmed Alkhaja