News Column

Damac's first quarter numbers helped by Dubai sale surge

May 13, 2014

Manoj Nair Associate Editor



Dubai: Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Damac Real Estate Development'sDubai-based projects continue to generate the bulk of the revenues, which totalled $436 million in the first three months of the year and up 94 per cent on last year's $225 million. These were generated from the completion of the Cosmopolitan and Water's Edge projects, as well as from the land portion of villa sales in €˜Akoya by Damac' of $173 million.

But, the developer will soon start realising yields from its non-UAE assets. "Revenue is realised only at the point a project is completed. We are currently in the process of handing over our first project outside of the UAE - Al Jawharah in Saudi Arabia," said Hussain Sajwani, Damac's executive chairman and CEO.

"Non-UAE-based operations contribute to our top-line sales. They will also contribute to the bottom-line net profit once the projects are completed. Although the bulk of our projects have been, and will continue to be, based in Dubai, we will continue to seek opportunities in other Middle East markets and potentially the wider Mena region," he added.

Operating profit in the first three months were up 76 per cent to $205 million (Q1-2013: $117 million)."This reflects the growth in general and administrative expenses to $50 million (Q1-2013: $24 million) as well as selling expenses and brokerage and commissions to $14 million (Q1-2013: $2 million) due to increase in sales activities and number of staff as business levels expand", said a statement issued by the developer.

Cashflow from operations were up to $308 million (Q1-2013: $41 million), helped by higher booked sales, while total assets were $3.526 billion as of March 31, 2014, a growth of 16 per cent compared to December 31, 2013, and helped by an increase in cash and bank balances. Gross margin remained 61.4 per cent.

On whether it was considering any further debt offerings, Sajwani said: "We are very pleased with the result of the successful closing of the $650 million Sukuk last month. The debut issue is an exercise in prudent balance-sheet management which enables us to continue delivering on our growth plans and enrich our land bank."


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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)


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