By Parag Deulgaonkar
Sajwani says medium- to long-term outlook remains positive even in current challenging times
Dubai’s Damac Properties reported a 16.20 percent decline in the first quarter 2017 net profit on Monday despite revenue rising 20 percent.
The developer reported a net profit of $239.78 million (AED880m) for the three months to March 31, according to a statement to Dubai's bourse. This was down from AED1.05billion ($285.9m) a year earlier.
The first-quarter revenue rose to AED1.95bn compared with AED1.62bn a year earlier. Its cost of sales, however, increased to AED887m from AED632m.
Cash and bank balances stood at AED9.11bn as of March 31.
The developer said it handed over 550 units in its Damac Hills (previously AKOYA) master development, which represents almost 20 percent of its full year 2017 guidance of 2,800 units.
During the first quarter, booked sales reached AED2.2bn, compared with AED2bn in the same period last year and AED1.71bn in the fourth quarter 2016.
The company said growth remains consistent with its earlier guidance of AED7bn for the year.
Hussain Sajwani, chairman, Damac, said: “The Dubai real estate market has stabilised; this was especially visible in the last few months of 2016. With no major fluctuations in prices but with an increase in volumes and transactions in the market in general, we can say first quarter has been strong, with booked sales of AED2.2bn.
“There is continued demand for quality real estate that presents better value. Despite the challenging market conditions, our medium- to long-term outlook remains positive, as we remain dynamic and continue providing the right products that suit the changing market needs.”
During the first three months of the year, the developer launched a units in its golf community Akoya Oxygen.
“Customers are seeking properties in premium locations and at an attractive price point, which provides better value in both the case of seeking higher returns on investment or living in a home that is part of a comprehensive lifestyle community.”
Sajwani revealed The Trump International Golf Club Dubai at Damac Hills has received a positive response from customers, stakeholders and the market in general.
“2016 was a year of market stabilisation and the start of 2017 has been promising and we will continue to innovate on our products to meet the demands of a wider audience of customers; we will also continue to execute and deliver on existing projects,” the chairman said.
Receding profits is one thing but a natural market's desire to work in certain territories might fade. The secret behind an area's longevity is behind its ability to attract the magnanimous love of a general public without solely depending on supernatural financial and deal flow intelligence. New York City for example has almost perfected the idea of being a place of cinematic history, a population of noticeable character and a city where only the most daring entrepreneurs start their journeys. Dubai is already a beautiful place to see, the city's influential elite must come together and let go of how attractive their have been so far and start investing in the things money cannot directly take care of.