MAF reports 10% rise in revenue to $3bn

Mall developer says growth strong in UAE and across Middle East

Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Holding has announced AED11.3bn ($3.08bn) in revenues during the first half of the year – a 10 percent rise.

EBITDA also grew by 11 percent to reach AED1.6bn.

MAF Properties, which includes numerous malls and hotels, contributed 67 percent of the group’s EBITDA.

The opening of the company’s 12th shopping mall, Beirut City Centre, in April saw its revenue increase by 13 percent to AED1.7bn and EBITDA rise by about 10 percent to AED1.1bn, the company said in a statement.

MAF Retail, which operates the Carrefour franchise across MENA and Central Asia and added 2 new hypermarkets and 4 new supermarkets during H1, saw sales grow by 9 percent, with revenues rising to AED9.2bn.

The business’ EBITDA rose by 17 percent to AED471mn and contributed 30 percent of the group’s EBITDA.

MAF also owns eight VOX cinemas in the Middle East, with three new ones helping its business MAF Ventures increase revenue by 13 percent to AED419m.

“First-half 2013 displayed another period of strong growth for us and even more importantly it happened on the back of a strong first-half 2012,” MAF CEO Iyad Malas said.

“Diversification across business segments and geographies led to solid broad-based operating performance.

“We saw a strong performance in our home market, UAE, with tenants’ sales growing 10 percent year-on-year, Carrefour sales increasing 7 percent and the average occupancy at our comparable hotels over 88 percent.

“This was also supported by 11 percent revenue growth in other markets, including 7 percent in Egypt and 9 percent in Bahrain.”

MAF Holding announced last month it plans to invest AED3bn in its Dubai businesses over the next five years to support the emirate's 2020 tourism vision.

Plans include two new hotels, upgrading two existing hotels, enhancements to its flagship Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre shopping malls, opening four new Carrefour supermarkets and two new hypermarkets and building a 14-screen cinema complex.

It is also evaluating options to develop a 50-store community mall in what it said was a prime residential area of Dubai.

Malas said the company had put on hold plans announced in May to partially fund its minority share purchase of Carrefour through a Perpetual Hybrid security.

“The investor feedback to the proposal has been quite positive. The market conditions in the last few weeks have been volatile and we are waiting for a receptive window for this issuance. There is no change to our intention to issue the Hybrid security,” Malas said.

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