Beirut-based Solidere on 5 April released its full-year 2005 financial results, reporting a 100 per cent rise in net profits to $108.5 million. The strong result came despite a year of political turmoil following the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri last February.

The profit rise has been put down to a 34.8 per cent rise in revenues from land and real estate sales to $235.3 million. ‘These results are in line with the continuous increase in income generated by land sales during 2005,’ said a company statement.

During the first quarter of 2006, Solidere’s total land sale agreements reached $1,100 million. The company is currently negotiating new land sale transactions estimated at $300 million.

In early January, Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) announced the launch of a $160 million private placement in Abu Dhabi to fund the development of the first phase of its Beirut Gate project, a mixed-use development in the Beirut Central District (BCD – MEED 20:1:06).

The strong turnaround for the real estate company, founded by Hariri to implement the reconstruction and development of the BCD, has been underlined by its share price. On 5 April, Solidere A and B shares were trading at $22.40 and $22.55 respectively on the Beirut Stock Exchange, up from lows of $9.50 and $5.70 after Hariri’s assassination.

The company began trading on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in March 2005, the first Lebanese company to do so (MEED 8:4:05).