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Tue 2 Mar 2010 03:10 PM

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UAE's Arabtec posts Q4 loss; 2009 provisions weighs

Dubai-based contractor's net profit for the year falls 50% to AED494.9m ($135m).

Dubai contractor Arabtec Holding posted its first ever quarterly loss after a charge of about $80 million for bad debts, missing analysts' forecasts. In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, Arabtec said net profit for the year fell 50 percent to 494.9 million dirhams ($135 million) from 958.05 million in the year-earlier period.

"The 2009 result is arrived at after charging 294 million dirhams as allowances for bad debts ... in view of the uncertainties affecting certain of the group's contracting receivables," it said.

The UAE's largest contractor by market value made a loss of AED16.8m dirhams in the quarter, compared with a profit of 184.81 million dirhams in the year-earlier period, according to Reuters calculations based on previous financial statements.

Arabtec did not give a breakdown of its fourth quarter.

It made AED511.7m ($139.4m) in the first nine months of 2009.

Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast a fourth-quarter profit of AED172.43m. (Reuters)