By Firouz Sedarat
Profits realised through reappraisal of Barwa properties main driver behind increase.
Qatar's Barwa Real Estate Co's net profit rose 154 percent in 2009, buoyed by an increase in rent revenues, revaluation of properties and the acquisition of an investment firm, the company said on Monday.
The group's net profit rose to $214.1 million from $84.1 million in 2008, a company statement said.
Barwa, an affiliate of the country's sovereign wealth fund, did not give a quarterly breakdown of its earnings.
Earnings per share rose 3.06 riyals up from $0.40 in 2008, and the board proposed a dividend of $0.54.
The statement said: "Profits realised through reappraisal of Barwa properties are a main driver behind the increase in earnings.
It added: "In addition, returns related to rents and services provided by subsidiaries and affiliates as well as the acquisition of the First Investor by Barwa Bank made a robust contribution to Barwa's net profits."
Barwa, which has properties in France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, focuses on retail, office, hospitality and residential property development.
Barwa said it would deliver its large Village project soon as well as Masaken and Saliyah and the first phase of Al Sadd development, which would have a positive impact on its revenue. It did not give details.
Total assets increased to $9.3 billion from $6.4 billion in 2008, it said.
Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has said it will keep on spending to maintain growth momentum in the small Gulf Arab state, as well as acquiring overseas assets.
Qatar is ensuring its key property firms weather the global crisis, which has hit nearby Dubai hard, by pushing through defensive mergers and using the real estate arm of the sovereign wealth fund to invest in them.
Qatari Diar, the property unit of the fund, will own at least 45 percent of the new Barwa group, which is to be formed after Barwa's planned takeover of Qatar Real Estate Investments. (Reuters)
Are reading this with as much disbelief as I am. Profit derived from upward revaluing of assets and increased rental incomes. You couldn't make it up. In a local market (Qatar) where prices optimistically are thought to have dropped 30% and Dubai where the fall is even worse they managed to upwardly revalue their assets. Rents in the region are falling and Qatar is suffering from rampant deflation. If anyone wants to know how the local banks have avoided going under re-read this story and imagine that EVERY bank has done the same with their property book.