Majid Al Futtaim, the UAE-based shopping mall developer and operator, on Wednesday said group revenue rose by 7 percent year-on-year to AED13.7 billion ($3.72 billion) in the first six months of 2015.
Its preliminary and unaudited operational and financial results showed that EBITDA remained stable at AED1.8 billion, reflecting higher promotional activities, costs associated with new market entries, product mix impact and a softer market in the hospitality industry.
"This is a transformational year and we are positioning the business for accelerated development and sustainable growth. During the first half of 2015 the company announced its future strategy to drive its ambitious expansion and growth plans. On the back of a strong 2014 we are progressing well," said Alain Bejjani, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Holding.
The company said in a statement that its properties unit reported revenue of AED2 billion with EBITDA at AED1.2 billion, stable versus the previous year.
Occupancy across the shopping malls portfolio remained strong at 97 percent as they welcomed 85 million visitors through the period, with a 2 percent growth in footfall versus 2014 levels.
Carrefour saw sales up around 7 percent year-on-year to AED11.2 billion in H1 with the business's EBITDA rising by over 3 percent to AED563 million, impacted by one-time costs associated with new market entries and additional store openings in existing markets.
In the first half of 2015, Majid Al Futtaim Retail opened 15 new Carrefour stores, expanding its portfolio to 143 outlets in 13 countries across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa.
"Several large scale projects are currently under construction in both existing and new markets. Significant opportunities lie ahead as our brands continue to provide innovative experiences to customers. Dubai remains the core of our business and we are expanding our presence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Oman, in addition to looking to establish a foothold in Africa and Eurasia," added Bejjani.
Majid Al Futtaim said its ongoing investments in Dubai continue with the investment of AED267 million for phase one of the new City Centre Me'aisem.
This will be the company's sixth City Centre in the UAE, located in the International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) and is expected to open in September. The seventh - City Centre Shindagha - is also planned to open by the end of the year.
Plans have also been announced for a second My City Centre, a 5,000 square metre mall that will serve communities in Al Barsha that is scheduled for completion in Q3 2016.
The second phase of the much-anticipated 25,000 sq m expansion at Mall of the Emirates is on track for completion in Q4.
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