By Andy Sambidge
Dubai-based malls operator says it reported footfall of 82 million during first half of 2014, up 6%
Dubai-based malls operator Majid Al Futtaim on Wednesday reported that group revenue rose 14 percent to AED12.8 billion ($3.5 billion) in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
The company's properties unit saw its revenue increase by a 10 percent to AED1.9 billion, with its malls seeing footfall of 83 million through the period, an increase of six percent from 2013 first half levels
MAF said revenue per available room at the company’s 11 hotels increased by 15 percent from year-earlier levels, with year-to-date occupancy rates of over 80 percent.
The company said its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) from recurring operations increased by 13 percent to AED1.8 billion, without giving a net profit figure.
“The first half of 2014 displayed another period of robust growth for us and even more importantly it happened on the back of a strong 2013,” said Iyad Malas, CEO - Majid Al Futtaim Holding.
Its retail unit, which owns and operates the Carrefour franchise, saw sales up about 15 percent year-on-year, to AED10.5 billion in H1 with EBITDA rising by 21 percent to AED553 million.
In the first half of 2014, Majid Al Futtaim Retail said it opened 12 new Carrefour stores, expanding its portfolio to 121 outlets in 12 countries across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.
MAF's ventures unit which operates in cinemas, leisure and entertainment, as well as businesses in financial services, fashion and healthcare, saw revenue increasing by 21 percent to AED506 million in H1.
MAF added in a statement that several large scale projects are currently under construction in both existing and new markets.
Malas said: “We continue to make significant progress with growth in the retail and leisure markets across the region. In the first half of 2014, we received official endorsement from Egypt's Government for our multi-billion Egyptian pound investment plan, we progressed on lucrative land banking opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and the first anniversary of Beirut City Centre was held under the patronage of President Michel Sleiman.
"While Dubai remains the core of our business, these cornerstones in Majid Al Futtaim's investment strategy in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon underlines our confidence in these countries to become investment hubs capable of accommodating major commercial and touristic projects.
"We are continuing our organic expansion plans focusing on our commitment to create great moments for everyone everyday, with careful attention to quality, with responsibility to community and last but not least, prudent financial and risk management approach, which is typical of Majid Al Futtaim.”