Dubai developer Union Properties swings to $8m profit in 2022

The developer attributes the profits to its turnaround strategy

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 06 SEPTEMBER 2016. For Gallery. Union Properties stand at CityScape 2016. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) ID: 59171. Journalist: None. Section: Business. *** Local Caption ***  AR_0609_CityScape_General-15.JPG
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Dubai-based developer Union Properties swung to profitability in 2022's full financial year, driven by a surge in total sales amid a recovery in the emirate's property market from the Covid-induced slowdown.

The company’s net profit for the January-December period jumped to Dh30 million ($8.2 million) from a loss of Dh966.8 million the previous year, the company said in a preliminary earnings statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

The developer attributed the profits to its “turnaround strategy which continues to show positive results with good progress on cost efficiencies”.

Union Properties' revenue surged nearly 5.1 per cent on an annualised basis to Dh419.2 million, driven by an improvement in the “group’s subsidiaries and continued growth in the UAE’s real estate sector”, it said.

In December, Union Properties unveiled a Dh1.6 billion development in Motor City, which is “symbolic of its turnaround strategy”. The development, called Takaya, features 788 units across three towers including 39 townhouses, five villas, 744 apartments and 55,000 square feet of retail space.

It also reached an agreement with its creditors in October to restructure Dh595 million of debt that it said would help it recover and grow amid the UAE property market's strong rebound.

The company’s total assets decreased by almost 3.2 per cent annually to more than Dh4 billion in the last fiscal year.

The company launched a revised turnaround strategy in the first quarter of 2022 to cut costs, boost profitability and restore shareholder value and said it was in negotiations with two of its major creditor banks to restructure loan facilities.

It ran into problems after the UAE's market regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority, filed a complaint against its senior executives in October 2021, accusing them of abuse of authority, fraud and causing damage to the interests of the company.

A new board was appointed in December and a complete financial and accounting review was conducted by a third party.

Property prices across Dubai rocketed last year, particularly in the prime sector, as the market and wider economy bounced back from the coronavirus-induced slowdown.

A record for ultra-luxury property deals was set, with 219 sales of homes valued at $10 million and above.

Dubai’s prime residential market registered transactions worth Dh30.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, reflecting a volume growth of about 40 per cent from the third quarter, a report by Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty found.

The average price of property in prime areas was Dh6.9 million, with 9,836 units sold, it said.

Updated: February 14, 2023, 1:12 PM