UAE’s Emaar sees profits sink by 45% in Q1

Dubai developer sees revenues drop by 31 percent, hands over only 270 units in the quarter
UAE’s Emaar sees profits sink by 45% in Q1
Emaar handed over only 270 units in the quarter, compared to 1,300 in the first three months of 2010
By Ed Attwood
Sun 24 Apr 2011 03:31 PM

Emaar, the developer behind the world's tallest tower, posted a 45 percent drop in profits in the first quarter to $115m, with revenues falling by 31 percent to $540m.

The Dubai-based company said that it had handed over only 270 units in the quarter, compared to 1,300 in the same quarter last year, and 1,000 in the final quarter of 2010.

But the state-backed firm also reported a 54 percent rise in profits over the final quarter of last year, when it booked $113.5m in impairments.

Emaar said that its results had been helped by higher margins on the units it had handed over, particularly in the Burj Khalifa, together with a strong performance from its hospitality and malls divisions.

It also handed over commercial offices in what is planned to be the new financial services hub in Syria, Damascus’ The Eighth Gate.  

However, the first-quarter results also showed a $35m loss from associated companies. Emaar has a 45 percent stake in mortgage lender Amlak.  

“Emaar will continue to explore growth opportunities in key emerging markets, where our emphasis will be to create dynamic socio-economic growth engines like Downtown Dubai that create jobs, support ancillary industries and meet lifestyle aspirations,” said Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar.

The Dubai real estate market has been hit hard by the economic crisis, with falling sales and rents compounded by ongoing oversupply of units.

"[Emaar
has] missed on the top and bottom line due to softer handovers and weaker
contribution from associates despite better margins," Rasmala Investment
analyst Saud Masud told Arabian Business. "But there's nothing too
surprising from an initial read."

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