Dubai's Emaar Malls' first-quarter net income rises on higher Namshi sales

Revenue for the first three months of the year stood at Dh901m

Emaar Malls says it is seeing a recovery across it business units as net profit for the first quarter of 2021 reached Dh318 million. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg
Emaar Malls says it is seeing a recovery across it business units as net profit for the first quarter of 2021 reached Dh318 million. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Emaar Malls, a unit of Dubai’s biggest listed developer, Emaar Properties, reported a 169 per cent increase in first-quarter net income compared with the last quarter of 2020 amid a continued improvement across its business units as Dubai’s economy recovers from the pandemic-driven slowdown.

Net profit for the three months to the end of March rose to Dh318 million ($87m), from Dh118m recorded for the fourth quarter of last year, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade. It did not disclose comparative numbers for the first quarter of 2020.

Revenue for the reporting period reached Dh901m, helped by Dh258m in sales from Emaar Malls' e-commerce platform Namshi, which saw strong growth in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other GCC countries.

"We continue to focus our efforts on project delivery for our newest expansions and developments, ensuring we consistently enhance our financial profitability,” Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar Properties and a member of Emaar Malls' board, said.

“As we persist in driving growth for Emaar Malls, both locally and internationally, we are committed to delivering transformational retail and entertainment experiences.”

Dubai, the commercial and tourism hub of the Middle East, is one of the “fastest growing cities in the world and we are embracing the speed and demands of the emerging generation of customers,” Mr Alabbar said.

The global economic slowdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the retail industry hard.

However, Emaar Malls has so far extended more than Dh1.2bn in rental relief to its tenants to combat the effects of the pandemic, but said it has seen a bounce back during the first quarter with healthy profit margins recorded.

The company is witnessing “continual recovery across its business units”, it said in the bourse filing. Occupancy levels across Emaar Malls' assets, including The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Gold & Diamond Park, Souk Al Bahar and its community retail centres remained "resilient" at 91 per cent.

In March, the boards of Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls recommended a merger of the two companies to create a stronger entity to better face the pandemic-driven headwinds.

"As part of the transaction, the existing business of Emaar Malls will be reconstituted in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emaar Properties," the developer said at the time.

The malls unit will continue to develop a portfolio of retail assets, while Emaar Properties will remain listed on the DFM.

Emaar Malls completed The Dubai Mall Village expansion project in February, adding 21 new sports and lifestyle stores to its flagship asset. During the second half of the year, the company plans to open Dubai Hills Mall, which will feature about 600 outlets with a gross leasable area of 2 million square feet.

Updated: May 9, 2021 06:03 PM

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