Profits on the descent at Burj Khalifa builder Arabtec

Markets Update: Arabtec Holding, the UAE's biggest construction company, posted a 15 per cent decline in full-year profit.

Burj Khalifa builder Arabtec has reported profits dropped 15 per cent in 2011. Jaime Puebla / The National Newspaper
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Arabtec Holding, the UAE's biggest construction company, posted a 15 per cent decline in full-year profit, beating analysts' estimates.

Profit for last year was Dh260.5 million ($71 million) after accounting for minority interest, the company said in a statement to the Dubai bourse, without providing comparative numbers. Arabtec reported a profit of Dh307min 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The average estimate of 12 analysts was for a profit of Dh133m, according to the data.

Shares of Arabtec, builder of the Burj Khalifa world's tallest tower in Dubai, have surged this year on speculation investors are accumulating the stock on bets the company will benefit from regional infrastructure spending. Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi government company which owns stakes in Daimler and UniCredit, raised its ownership in Arabtec to 5.28 per cent this week.

Arabtec has been eying opportunities outside its home market after construction work slowed in Dubai. The company said in November the value of a contract it won in Saudi Arabia may rise to 1.5 billion riyals ($400 million).

A unit of Arabtec in January won a Dh561m contract for the Dubai International Airport's expansion. One of its units also won 256 million dirhams in contracts in Abu Dhabi this year.

Arabtec shares declined 9.9 per cent to close at Dh2.93 in Dubai yesterday, trimming the gain to 84 per cent this year. That compares with a 19 per cent advance for the benchmark Dubai Financial Market General Index this year.

Revenue for last year was Dh5 billion, according to the statement today. The board proposed 5 per cent bonus shares and cash dividend of 5 fils a share.

Shaji Mathew / Bloomberg News