By Staff writer
Retail firm chief reiterates plan to turn net profit next year as it seeks to operate 64 outlets in 2016
Dubai retail firm Marka has reaffirmed its target of turning its first net profit next year after announcing a net loss of AED14.7 million ($4 million) for the third quarter of 2015.
The company, billed as the first public joint stock retail operator in the UAE, listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) last September, raising AED500 million.
Marka currently has 39 retail outlets under management and plans to operate 64 outlets during 2016, representing more than 360,000 sq ft of retail space.
Marka said in a statement that the Q3 results "reflect the impact of the significant acquisition activity undertaken by Marka during 2015".
Khaled Almheiri, vice-chairman and managing director of Marka, said: "I am very pleased with the progress Marka has achieved year-to-date. During the last quarter, we were able to fully recognise the contributions from four of our five acquisitions, enabling us to achieve operational profitability on an adjusted EBITDA basis during the slowest period in UAE retail calendar - summer and Ramadan.
"Our outlook is very strong and we are confident that Marka will be in a profit generating position during 2016," he added.
Since listing, Marka has pursued a growth strategy focused on acquisitions, franchise agreements and launching home-grown concepts.
"We have made rapid progress on our strategy to develop a balanced, diversified retail portfolio that will generate value for our shareholders," Almheiri said. "We are taking proactive measures to manage our cost base and are working actively to add value and drive growth across our three divisions - Sports, Fashion and Hospitality."
Since acquiring the Middle Eastern themed restaurant chain Reem Al Bawadi in April, Marka has opened three new locations in Sharjah, Al Ain and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and confirmed additional upcoming outlets in Ras Al Khaimah and Bahrain.
To date, Marka said it has added 1,658 new seats, bringing the total capacity to 2,160 at owned outlets and 2,480 across franchise outlets.
During the third quarter of 2015, Marka acquired the Middle East master franchise rights for the luxury ice-cream brand Morelli's Gelato and also announced three additions to its Fashion portfolio - French jewellery brand dinh van; Paris-based ready-to-wear fashion brand Carven; and plus-size fashion brand City Chic.