Emaar Properties reports 'sustained interest' from investors during pandemic

The company recorded property sales worth Dh10.9bn during the period

Dubai , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. July 23, 2015  - Stock photograph of the Boulevard buildings by Emaar Properties in Downtown Dubai, July 23, 2015. (Photo by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: STANDALONE, STOCK)
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Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed developer by market capitalisation, said it continued to witness "sustained interest" from investors despite a 20 per cent fall in full-year revenue for 2020 amid a coronavirus-induced economic slowdown.

Revenue fell to Dh19.71 billion ($5.36bn) for the year and net profit was 58 per cent lower at Dh2.61bn. The company still managed to achieve Dh10.9bn worth of property sales during the year as it recorded "sustained interest from investors, both domestic and foreign", Emaar said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade. By the end of the year, its backlog stood at Dh36.67bn.

"Our performance in 2020 is a direct result of our ability to move quickly, adapt to new business conditions and utilise our existing resources to access new opportunities,” Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar, said.

“We continue to embrace technology to help grow our business, while at the same time closely adhere to the cost discipline that helps us achieve better results in each quarter.”

Emaar, known for building landmark projects like Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, has delivered more than 72,000 units since 2012 and is currently developing close to 38,000 units. It has more than 1.14 million square metres of revenue-generating assets and now generates over half of its sales from its malls, hotels and international business units.

Emaar Development, a subsidiary of Emaar Properties, reported a 39 per cent drop in net profit to Dh1.65bn as revenue declined 23 per cent to Dh9.75bn.

Emaar's international property development arm recorded a 10 per cent increase in revenue to Dh4.82bn in 2020, driven by its operations in Egypt and Pakistan.

"Looking ahead to 2021, we see a world of opportunities both traditional and technology-driven that will help us grow in ways and in markets that didn't exist five or ten years ago," Mr Alabbar added.

Consultancy Knight Frank said last week that sales of luxury residential units in some parts of Dubai such as Palm Jumeirah, Mohammed Bin Rashid City District One and Emaar's Downtown Dubai picked up in the second half of 2020.

Sotheby's Luxhabitat reported in its Dubai Prime Residential Market report last month that Downtown Dubai saw sales of about Dh5.2bn last year.