Emaar profits rise 76% in fourth quarter

The largest developer in the region saw revenues climb as its retail and hospitality division soared.

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Emaar Properties, the largest developer in the region, increased net profits by 76 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year after revenues from its retail and hospitality divisions soared.

Overall, revenues increased 20 per cent to Dh2.2 billion in the final quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter, with net profits jumping from Dh406 million to Dh716m, beating analyst expectations.

“It seems like it’s going well,” said Yazan Abdeen, a fund manager at ING Investment Management. “We were expecting a good quarter and definintely the numbers are ahead of our expectations.”

In total, Emaar suffered a 27 per cent fall in net profits in 2011, compared to 2010, as revenues dipped 33 per cent to Dh8.1bn.

Analysts say this fall reflects Emaar's ongoing shift in business model from building properties and selling them on to instead building malls, hotels and leisure attractions that offer a safer, recurring income to the company.

“The mix is different because the majority of revenues in 2010 was driven by sales and now retail and hospitality is taking over,” said Mr Abdeen,

Emaar’s shopping malls, hospitality and leisure businesses now account for 41 per cent of total annual revenues, compared with a combined contribution of about 24 per cent in 2010.