By Andy Sambidge
Dubai property giant's 2009 profit slumps amid continuing slowdown in real estate sector in Gulf region.
Dubai's Emaar Properties earned 237 million dirhams ($64.52 million) in the first quarter of 2009, down 73.6 percent from the the same period the previous year.
Emaar said in a statement on Thursday its first-quarter profit in 2008 stood at 896 million dirhams, about half the revenue it reported last year.
The fall during the first quarter of 2009 was due to lower sales and delivery of completed units, the company said.
Previously, Emaar announced its current land bank stands at 516 million square metres, with a value of AED79 billion ($21.64 billion).
In a statement, the Dubai developer also said it would continue to build on its strategy of business segmentation and geographic expansion, despite the challenging global business environment.
The comments came after Emaar shareholders voted on Wednesday in favour of receiving no dividend for 2008 as Emaar's chairman urged them to support the company through the global financial turmoil.
Is the AED79 billion value on the land bank a figure dreamed up by Emaar or has this been independently audited by a chartered assessor? The land is worthless if nobody is buying, or they can't afford to develop it. This kind of reporting is the most opaque in the world for listed companies.
Emaar had a country full of fans, it has turned its back on them. Will we ever forgive and get confidence back, does anyone in the UAE care about what has happened, if they care why don't they act and do something ? I for one am sick of hearing how everything that could be done is being done, the truth is nothing is being done, does anyone know why ?