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Mon 1 Feb 2016 01:53 PM

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Dubai mall operator says 2015 revenues up 8% to $7.43bn

Majid Al Futtaim says performance improved against backdrop of regional economic slowdown

Dubai mall operator says 2015 revenues up 8% to $7.43bn

Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based shopping mall, retail and leisure firm, said on Monday that revenue grew by 8 percent to AED27.3 billion ($7.43 billion) during 2015.

The company said in a statement that group EBITDA increased by 6 percent compared to the previous year, reaching AED3.8 billion.

Performance was largely driven by continued investment in core businesses across Dubai and increased development activity in Egypt and Oman, the statement added.

The company said it continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with total assets valued at more than AED51 billion and a net debt of around AED9 billion.

Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Holding, said: "Majid Al Futtaim's 2015 financial performance has demonstrated the strength and resilience of our business against a backdrop of a regional economic slowdown.

"We've achieved this by continually listening to our customers and evolving our offerings in line with their changing needs.

"With several large scale developments currently in the pipeline in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Africa, we are well positioned to fully leverage the significant growth potential of the Middle East and North/East Africa region."

Majid Al Futtaim Properties expanded its portfolio in 2015, reporting an increase in revenue of 7 percent to AED4 billion, while EBITDA rose by 9 percent to AED2.6 billion, contributing about 65 percent of the group's EBITDA. Occupancy across all shopping malls remained strong at 98 percent.

Majid Al Futtaim's retail business saw revenues increase by 7 percent year-on-year to AED22 billion. EBITDA rose by 2 percent to AED 1.2 billion, driven primarily by entry into new markets and additional store openings in existing markets.

The company's portfolio of cinemas, leisure and entertainment, fashion, healthcare, consumer finance, food & beverage and facility and energy management reported revenues increasing by 34 percent to AED1.4 billion.

With the launch of 58 new screens, VOX Cinemas was the fastest growing cinema chain in the region and saw a 40 percent increase in ticket admissions, the statement said.

It added: "Majid Al Futtaim's expansion programmes are progressing as planned. Although UAE remains the core focus for the company, it is on track to solidify its presence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman, and establish a stronger foothold in Africa and Eurasia through its Carrefour business.

"In line with its long-term commitment to the wider region, Majid Al Futtaim has established plans to expand in Africa. The company will initially focus on development in Eastern and Southern African nations, with Kenya set to be the first destination for Carrefour in 2016."

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