Deyaar doubles profit

Deyaar Development, a property company that went through a difficult year, said it had increased profit 105 per cent.

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Abu Dhabi // Deyaar Development, a property company that went through a difficult year with its former chief executive arrested on charges of fraud, said it had increased profit 105 per cent to Dh1.104bn (US$300.6m) in 2008. "Despite challenges facing the global financial markets and the real estate sector worldwide, Deyaar has continued to demonstrate consistent growth by focusing on its core competencies and managing its resources in line with changing market requirements," said Nasser bin Hassan al Shaikh, chairman of Deyaar and director general of the Dubai Department of Finance.

The company said its fourth quarter earnings increased by about 10 per cent to Dh343m from the third quarter. Total revenues for 2008 were Dh2.973bn, compared with Dh1.259bn in 2007, the company said. Markus Giebel, the recently appointed chief executive of Deyaar, said the company had reduced its debt-to-equity ratio to 8 per cent to "strengthen the company's capital position even further". He said the company would focus on "under-served markets" as a strategy in 2009 to weather the effects of the global financial crisis on the UAE.

"We feel strongly there is a need for middle-income housing, and we still strive to accommodate this market need as the company moves forward with its 2009 growth strategy," Mr Giebel said. Last April, the former chief executive of Deyaar, Zack Shahin, was arrested and placed in custody for his alleged part in a corruption scheme, according to the Dubai Public Prosecution. The company has since rebranded itself with a new logo and advertising campaign, and appointed Mr Giebel as chief executive.