UAE's Aldar Q1 net triples on handovers and sales

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Roads lead to the headquarters of Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi's biggest real estate company. (Bloomberg)

Roads lead to the headquarters of Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi's biggest real estate company. (Bloomberg)

Aldar Properties, the largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, said Monday its first-quarter net profit had tripled as handovers and sales of key developments boosted revenue.

The builder of the emirate's Formula One race track made a net profit of AED453.4m ($123.4m) in the quarter, up from AED154.3m in the same period of 2013, it said in a statement. SICO Bahrain had forecast the firm would make AED329.8m in the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 6 percent to AED1.72bn, with recurring revenue 22 percent higher year-on-year at AED497m thanks to its hospitality and investment property portfolio.

Aldar also said that since the start of 2014, it repaid AED2.8bn of loans, or 20 percent of its gross debt, after receiving AED3.5bn in contractual payments from the government of Abu Dhabi.

"We are seeing impressive sales and leasing activity, debt has been reduced by the repayment of AED2.8bn in loans and we are on track to meet synergy savings for the merger," Abubaker Seddiq Al Khoori, chairman of Aldar Properties, said in the statement.

The majority state-owned developer, which acquired rival Sorouh Real Estate last year, is recovering from a collapse in the emirate's property market that forced the company to take government support worth $10bn in exchange for assets.

Abu Dhabi's real estate market slumped by about 50 percent from its peak in 2008 after a bubble burst in the wake of the global financial crisis. But prices rebounded strongly last year, rising some 25 percent, on the back of a series of market-boosting measures by the government including the scrapping of annual rent caps.

Last month, Aldar launched three new developments in Abu Dhabi worth AED5bn and said it was exploring 23 real estate developments, excluding government projects.

Among projects completed are the National Housing projects at Al Sila'a in the Western Region, Al Ghuraibah in Al Ain, as well as Al Watani, Al Falah and Raha Gardens in Abu Dhabi, the statement said.

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