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Profit up at focused Tabreed in Abu Dhabi

A focus on its core chilled water business and lower operating costs helped Tabreed post a 15 per cent rise in profits in the first quarter.

Tabreed,a district cooling company based in Abu Dhabi, reported a 15 per cent rise in profit in the first quarter as the company focused on chilled water and stripped away more of its non-core business.

Net profit reached Dh36.8 million (US$10m), up from Dh31.9m in the first quarter of last year, the firm said yesterday.

"Our performance in the first quarter builds upon last year's achievements in establishing Tabreed as a stable utility business," said Waleed Al Muhairi, the chairman of Tabreed.

"I am pleased Tabreed recorded increased operating and net profit while delivering on its strategy of focusing on its core chilled-water business."

The firm's revenue from providing chilled water for buildings' air-conditioning systems reached Dh193.2m during the quarter, up 5 per cent from the same period last year. Chilled-water profit from operations rose by 29 per cent to Dh73.2m.

Meanwhile, the firm continued to phase out non-core parts of its business such as building insulated pipes. As a result, group revenue dropped by 11 per cent to Dh219m.

The firm is returning to a sustainable position after refinancing Dh2.63 billion of debt in April last year as part of a restructuring of debt built up during the property downturn. The restructuring involved Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, investing Dh3.1bn in the firm in return for a larger stake. Mubadala now owns 27.3 per cent of Tabreed.

The restructuring has helped to reduce Tabreed's financing costs. The firm also attributes its improved performance to containment of spending.

"Due to our continued cost control and improved organisational efficiencies, operating costs declined 25 per cent and operating profit increased 14 per cent compared to the same period last year," said Sujit Parhar, the chief executive of Tabreed.

The company generated new revenue during the quarter from the completion of chilled-water plants last year. During the quarter it completed a chilled-water plant in Ajman with a capacity of 10,000 refrigerated tonnes. It took the group's installed capacity across the region to 759,125 refrigerated tonnes. A total of 597,325 refrigerated tonnes of that amount is in the UAE, where Tabreed operates 59 plants.

The firm is future growth by delivering its scheduled programme of building plants.

Tabreed's shares rose 0.7 per cent to Dh1.30 during trading yesterday morning on the Dubai Financial Market.

tarnold@thenational.ae

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