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Tue 1 May 2012 02:37 PM

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Barwa Q1 profit drops by 1/2 on property revaluation

Qatari real estate is recovering from excessive construction before the downturn

Barwa Q1 profit drops by 1/2 on property revaluation
Barwas US$659m Al Sadd project in Doha.

Barwa Real Estate, the Middle East’s biggest property company by assets, said first-quarter profit fell by almost half after a loss from revaluation of investment properties.

Net income, excluding non-controlling interests, fell to QAR292.5m (US$80m) from QAR548.5m a year earlier, according to a statement posted on the Qatar Exchange.

Barwa lost QAR25.4m from property revaluation, against a QAR420.1m gain a year earlier.

Qatari real estate is recovering from excessive home-and office-construction before the global economic downturn four years ago. Average rental rates for apartments and villas were unchanged in Doha, the capital, during the first quarter, even as the leasing market “picked up significantly,” according to a report last month by Asteco, a real-estate services company.

Barwa, in which government-controlled Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. owns the biggest stake, is also developing properties in countries such as Egypt, the UK and Russia, according to its website.

The company’s revenue fell to QAR650.6m in the first quarter, from QAR1.3bn a year earlier, according to the statement.

Barwa’s stock was down 3.1 percent, at QAR27.05, on the Qatar Exchange at the 12:30 pm close of trading today, the biggest decline since March 22.