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Wed 13 May 2015 10:38 AM

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Dubai builder Arabtec swings to net loss in Q1

Quarterly loss of $76.2m compares to a $37.5m profit in the corresponding period last year

Dubai builder Arabtec swings to net loss in Q1

Dubai's largest
construction firm Arabtec swung to a first-quarter net loss on Wednesday,
missing analysts' estimates, as costs surged.

The builder
reported a loss attributable to equity holders in the parent of AED279.82 million ($76.2 million) in the three months to March 31, compared to a AED137.89
million profit in the corresponding period of 2014, it said in a
statement to Dubai's bourse.

The earnings
were well below estimates from two analysts polled by Reuters. Global
Investment House had forecast Arabtec would make a quarterly profit of AED95
million, while SICO Bahrain had estimated a profit of AED20.2 million.

Arabtec shares
tumbled as much as 7.1 percent to AED2.37 in morning trading on the Dubai
Financial Market.

The company has
seen major management upheavals over the past year, culminating in the election
last week of Abu Dhabi businessman Mohamed Thani Murshed Ghannam Al Rumaithi as
its chairman. He replaced Khadem Abdulla Al Qubaisi, who was not nominated for
renewed board membership.

The departure
of Qubaisi followed the resignation of Hasan Ismaik as chief executive last
June after frictions between Ismaik and Arabtec's major shareholder, Aabar
Investments.

Arabtec's
direct costs reached AED1.93 billion during the first quarter, up 28
percent from the corresponding period of last year, the statement showed.
Revenues rose only marginally, by 0.2 percent to AED1.79 billion.

The company has
been negotiating a $36.7 billion scheme to build one million housing units in
Egypt, but has not yet announced the signing of a final contract. It has major
projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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