Dubai Investments returns to profit as economy improves

Net profit for the first quarter climbed to Dh123.8m from a loss of 6.8m a year earlier

Dubai Investments, a Dubai-listed investment holding company, swung to a profit in the first quarter as income from its manufacturing, services and investment portfolio grew amid a continued economic recovery.

Net profit for the three months ending March 30 climbed to Dh123.8 million from a loss of Dh6.8m in the same period last year, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“The results … highlight the strong performance and resilience of our business model during what continues to be a challenging time for our region and the world,” Dubai Investments vice chairman and chief executive, Khalid Bin Kalban, said.

“Our performance this quarter reflects the impact of our sustainable growth strategy, with a focus on diversification,” he said, adding that the company expects the “momentum to continue through the year”.

Total income increased to Dh637.6m, an increase of more than 37 per cent, on the back of strong performances from its manufacturing and services sector companies. Its investments arm also supported profitability, while its real estate portfolio remained resilient despite headwinds, the company said without giving a breakdown of earnings from the different segments.

The value of its investment property portfolio stood at Dh8.5 billion at the end of the quarter, slightly ahead of the previous quarter but below the Dh8.73bn valuation at the same time last year.

The UAE economy continues to recover from the pandemic-driven slowdown, aided by Dh388bn worth of economic support measures. Government initiatives, including visas for expatriate retirees and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa scheme to encourage foreign professionals to settle in the country, have also helped to improve investment sentiment.

Dubai's Expo 2020 event is expected to drive economic activity in the emirate this year, while the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan that aims to make the city the world’s best to live in is expected to support longer term economic growth.

Set up in 1995, Dubai Investments – in which Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai holds an 11.54 per cent stake – has companies involved in sectors including real estate, industrial, financial services healthcare and education. It owns businesses such as Dubai Investments Park, venture capital company Masharie, Al Mal Capital and district cooling company Emicool.

Dubai Investments’ total assets at the end of the March remained stable, increasing slightly to Dh22bn from Dh21.8bn at the end of December 2020. Total equity also increased slightly to around Dh12.2bn for the same period.

In April, the company increased its stake in National General Insurance Company (NGI) to 29.99 per cent after it bought 21.53 per cent of the company from Emirates NBD.

The increase in its NGI stake “demonstrates our commitment to unlocking growth opportunities and delivering superior returns for our shareholders”, Mr Bin Kalban said.

“As the global economy and the real estate sector continue to show signs of improvement, we are well positioned for continued growth driven by future opportunities.”