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Wed 10 Nov 2010 12:40 PM

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Dubai's Drake outstanding receivables at $245m - CFO

DSI has AED170m outstanding receiveables in Dubai; eyes project backlog of $1.6bn by year end

Dubai's Drake outstanding receivables at $245m - CFO
Drake and Scull has worked on a number of high profile projects in the region, covering commercial and residential properties, as well as social infrastructure (photography Murrindie Frew).

Dubai
Contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) has AED900m ($245m) of total
outstanding receiveables, less than a quarter in Dubai, its chief financial
officer said on Wednesday.

Drake, which
specialises in mechanical, engineering and plumbing businesses (MEP), has AED170m of outstanding receiveables in Dubai, CFO Osama Hamdan told
reporters. "We have issues but not on the scale that we have seen in
Dubai. "The company is not exposed to the Dubai debt scenario and our
clients (in Dubai) have been good and have been doing well."

The total
amount includes accounts receivable and retentions.

Hamdan said
Drake is eyeing a project backlog of AED6bn by year-end, up from AED5.5bn
currently.

Drake's
backlog in Saudi Arabia stands at SR815m ($217.3m).

Drake would
likely announce a second acquisition of a civil construction company in the
kingdom by the end of November he said, after it bought 65 percent of Drake
& Skull International Saudi WLL for AED243m in September.

Drake, which
has been rapidly expanding its operations outside Dubai, where house prices
have plunged some 60 percent since their peaks in 2008 as a result of the
financial crisis.

The
company's chief executive said on Tuesday it is prepared to take on debt to
make a substantial acquisition as it eyes strategic purchases, possibly in
India. Khaldoun Tabari added that the firm has AED500m in cash.

Drake &
Scull reported a sharp 45 percent drop in quarterly profit this week, below
expectations, triggering a share sell-off.

Drake's
shares were up 0.7 percent at 0747 GMT, outperforming Dubai's bourse which
eased 0.01 percent. ($1=AED3.673) ($1=SR3.750)

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