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Mon 26 Oct 2015 10:58 AM

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Dubai's Depa CEO resigns 'for personal reasons'

Burj Khalifa fit-out firm saw its net profit for first half of 2015 down 44%

Dubai's Depa CEO resigns 'for personal reasons'
Dubai-based interior fit-out company Depa fitted out the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai construction contractor and interiors firm Depa Ltd said on Monday that its group chief executive Nadim Akhras had resigned for personal reasons.

Pending the appointment of a permanent replacement, the board's steering committee has been given group chief executive responsibilities, Depa said in a statement.

Akhras will be retained as a consultant, it added without elaborating.

In late August, the company, which fitted out the Burj Khalifa, announced that net profit for the first half of 2015 totalled AED15 million ($4.08 million), down from AED27 million for the year-earlier period.

The firm said the decrease resulted from costs revisions involving a few projects and additional costs incurred from delays. It added that gross margin during the period was 10 percent compared to 13 percent in H1 2014.

Depa said it is "cautiously optimistic" about prospects in its core UAE market following "several challenging years".

The company said in a statement that its total backlog of project is valued at AED2.3 billion while revenues fell slightly to AED841 million from AED877 million in H1 2014.

Akhras was quoted as saying in August: “The first half of 2015 has witnessed Depa continue to implement its strategy of geographical diversification and operational consolidation, creating a secure base for sustainable long-term growth.

"We are encouraged by our performance in mature European and Far Eastern markets, as well as our progress in emerging and frontier markets in Africa and South Asia.

"Following several challenging years for the industry in our core UAE market, we are also cautiously optimistic about the recent pick-up in fit-out activity, which we anticipate will continue in the second half of the year.

“While maintaining a cautious approach to signing new contracts, Depa’s backlog increased during the first six months of 2015 as we won a number of high-quality projects across a range of geographies.

"Despite global economic issues that had a negative impact on several of our key markets, the work we have done to further streamline and diversify the business in recent years leaves Depa well positioned over the coming period.”

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