Mubadala posts Dh1.1bn profit amid growing diversification

Mubadala Development reported Dh1.1bn of profits last year, a 76 per cent decline compared to 2009 - with video.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Oct 4: Mubadala stand in the Cityscape Global 2010 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) For Business Stock

Mubadala Development, the Abu Dhabi government-owned strategic investment company, today reported a Dh1.1 billion profit for last year, 76 per cent lower than the year before.

Despite the decline in profitability, Mubadala said revenues grew 22 per cent last year across divisions ranging from infrastructure and aerospace to industry and property. Mubadala, a prime vehicle for the diversification of Abu Dhabi's economy away from oil, made Dh4.65bn of profits in 2009.

When factoring in changes in the value of investments in listed securities, Mubadala said it turned in an loss of Dh315 million last year.

"I think everybody's view is that 2010 was a year that started out fraught with challenges but one in which I think we acquitted ourselves quite well, all things considered," said Waleed al Muhairi, Mubadala's chief operating officer. "Growth in revenues was quite healthy and respectable."

The company was particularly happy that a larger slice of its revenues came from businesses outside the oil and gas sector, he added. In past years, Mubadala's revenues have been dominated by contributions from Dolphin Energy, an Abu Dhabi company that operates the Gulf's only cross-border gas pipeline, and Pearl Energy, an exploration and production company that operates primarily in South East Asia.

"In 2008, oil and gas accounted for something like 80 per cent of our revenue make-up," Mr al Muhairi said. "In 2010 it's down to just under 40 per cent, so about 38 per cent. We're quite excited about that."

Milestones last year included reaching full production capacity at Emirates Aluminum, Mubadala's aluminium production venture; the inauguration of Strata, the company's aerospace materials manufacturing business in Al Ain; and the first profitable year for its health care division.

This year, Mr al Muhairi said Mubadala would work on building its businesses further, while continuing to "manage through" recent volatility and uncertainty in financial markets. Mubadala will make new investments as opportunities emerge, he said. One focus is on expanding holdings of bauxite mines and other aluminium production assets to give Emirates Aluminum greater control over the commodity's supply chain.

The recent wave of unrest that has swept through the region would have no substantial impact on Mubadala financially, Mr al Muhairi said. While the company has an oil exploration concession in Libya and is partner to a joint venture with Occidental Petroleum to develop and produce energy in Bahrain, those operations are not a core part of its energy portfolio. Employees working on both of those projects have been accounted for and are safe, he said.

As revenues at Mubadala's businesses grew last year, the company's assets increased by 14 per cent to Dh101.5bn. Equity contributed to Mubadala jumped by 26 per cent to Dh62.1bn thanks to around Dh13bn of government injections into the company.

Mubadala has reported wide swings in profits during the past three years, with a comprehensive loss of Dh11.8bn in 2008 followed by a profit of Dh4.6bn in 2009.