DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 13 APRIL 2017. Signage Sheikh Zayed Road of the Damac Trump International Golf Club. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) ID: 60772. Journalist: Stock. Section: Business. *** Local Caption ***  AR_1304_Developer_Signage-03.JPG
Damac, which owns and operates the only Trump branded Golf resort in the Middle East, has $2bn in cash, of which $350 is unrestricted to be used for any suitable purpose. Antonie Robertson / The Natio

Damac looks to reduce its debt by $500m over 3 years amid tough market conditions



Damac Properties, which reported on Tuesday its third quarterly profit slump in a row, plans to cut its overall debt by about $500m in three years as the Dubai developer embarks on liability management exercise.

"Our principle objective over the next two-to-three years - I would like to bring [the debt] sub $1 billion dollars. We will be paying down circa of $500m," Adil Taqi, the group chief financial officer of Damac told The National in a phone interview on Tuesday. "What we are managing is the net liability base."

The company currently has roughly $1.45 billion (5.32bn) of debt on its balance sheet, which consists of about $180m in bilateral loans from commercial banks and the remaining accounts for funds raised either through private placements or capital market deals.

A payment of $270m is due in April next year and some of its commercial debt matures in 2018 and beyond. Damac may choose to refinance some of the smaller banking loans, “just to keep the relationship alive” but all the maturities have been well provided for and the company's “cash flows are very well covered”, Mr Taqi noted.

Damac, which owns and operates the only Trump branded Golf resort in the Middle East, has $2bn in cash, of which $350 is unrestricted to be used for any suitable purpose. The company does not have a “cash flow challenge”, is well capitalised and has a good liquidity position, Mr Taqi added.

Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes earlier this year said that operational and financial challenges are expected to put pressure on Damac in 2018. Cash flow issues at the company are likely to push the dividends lower and the company may have to raise debt to meet Dh2.2bn in repayment obligations over the next 24 months, the investment bank said.

Mr Taqi said Damac in April paid about $250m in dividends, which was lower than the $400m recommended by the board in January, however, it was lowered because “we felt the market will get tougher”.

“We would not have given anything [in dividend] if we felt there were cash flow challenges,” he explained.

Damac on Tuesday said second-quarter net profit plunged 46 per cent as the cost of sales surged. The company’s income in the three months ending June 30 fell to Dh378.2 million from a year earlier, below the average Dh450.7m estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

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The cost of sales during the quarter rose 62 per cent to Dh1.16bn from Dh705m reported at the end of the same period last year. Damac recorded revenue of Dh1.79bn, slightly above analysts' estimates of Dh1.77bn.

Quarterly income decline is the third in a row for the company, which in May, reported a 45 per cent slump in first-quarter net profit, also on mounting cost of sales. In February, Damac reported a 47 per cent decline in fourth quarter net profit and a 25 per cent drop in its full-year 2017 net income to Dh2.76bn.

The company, which is on track to deliver a record 4,000 units by end of this year, expects the earnings to follow the first half trend in the remainder of the 2018.

“We are planning for second [half] similar to [that of] the first half,” he said.

To compensate for the lower profitability, Damac is mulling ways to lower costs that include everything from salaries to the company’s market expenses.

“Obviously you would want your money to work harder. We look at different costs individually and see how could we do this better,” he said. “We were making a billion dollars in profitability and we were incurring [that] level of cost. We can’t continue when our revenue line [has] halved and our profitability [has] halved, and leave the cost untouched.”

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8

Power: 611bhp

Torque: 620Nm

Transmission: seven-speed automatic

Price: upon application

On sale: now

LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 5

Galaxy: Dos Santos (79', 88')
United: Rashford (2', 20'), Fellaini (26'), Mkhitaryan (67'), Martial (72')

10 tips for entry-level job seekers
  • Have an up-to-date, professional LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, set one up today. Avoid poor-quality profile pictures with distracting backgrounds. Include a professional summary and begin to grow your network.
  • Keep track of the job trends in your sector through the news. Apply for job alerts at your dream organisations and the types of jobs you want – LinkedIn uses AI to share similar relevant jobs based on your selections.
  • Double check that you’ve highlighted relevant skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile.
  • For most entry-level jobs, your resume will first be filtered by an applicant tracking system for keywords. Look closely at the description of the job you are applying for and mirror the language as much as possible (while being honest and accurate about your skills and experience).
  • Keep your CV professional and in a simple format – make sure you tailor your cover letter and application to the company and role.
  • Go online and look for details on job specifications for your target position. Make a list of skills required and set yourself some learning goals to tick off all the necessary skills one by one.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach outside your immediate friends and family to other acquaintances and let them know you are looking for new opportunities.
  • Make sure you’ve set your LinkedIn profile to signal that you are “open to opportunities”. Also be sure to use LinkedIn to search for people who are still actively hiring by searching for those that have the headline “I’m hiring” or “We’re hiring” in their profile.
  • Prepare for online interviews using mock interview tools. Even before landing interviews, it can be useful to start practising.
  • Be professional and patient. Always be professional with whoever you are interacting with throughout your search process, this will be remembered. You need to be patient, dedicated and not give up on your search. Candidates need to make sure they are following up appropriately for roles they have applied.

Arda Atalay, head of Mena private sector at LinkedIn Talent Solutions, Rudy Bier, managing partner of Kinetic Business Solutions and Ben Kinerman Daltrey, co-founder of KinFitz

The Killer

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell

Rating: 4/5 

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Company profile

Name: Infinite8

Based: Dubai

Launch year: 2017

Number of employees: 90

Sector: Online gaming industry

Funding: $1.2m from a UAE angel investor

Stage result

1. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 4:42:34

2. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe

3. Elia Viviani (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers

4. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) BikeExchange-Jayco

5. Emils Liepins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo

6. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

7. Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team

8. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma

9. Tom Devriendt (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

10. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) UAE Team Emirate

The biog

Hobby: "It is not really a hobby but I am very curious person. I love reading and spend hours on research."

Favourite author: Malcom Gladwell 

Favourite travel destination: "Antigua in the Caribbean because I have emotional attachment to it. It is where I got married."

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Bournemouth 0

Manchester United 2
Smalling (28'), Lukaku (70')

At a glance

- 20,000 new jobs for Emiratis over three years

- Dh300 million set aside to train 18,000 jobseekers in new skills

- Managerial jobs in government restricted to Emiratis

- Emiratis to get priority for 160 types of job in private sector

- Portion of VAT revenues will fund more graduate programmes

- 8,000 Emirati graduates to do 6-12 month replacements in public or private sector on a Dh10,000 monthly wage - 40 per cent of which will be paid by government

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

ICC T20 Team of 2021

Jos Buttler, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi


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