Expansion across the Middle East helped to drive full-year profits at Drake & Scull International (DSI) up by 61 per cent.
Net profit rose to Dh185 million as sales surged 47 per cent to Dh4.9 billion at the Dubai-based contractor that specialises in mechanical, electrical and plumbing work.
That helped to increase its order backlog by more than a third to Dh12bn.
“We continue to focus on cost reduction, return on capital and liquidity to drive sustainable performance across all our markets,” said Mukhtar Safi, the DSI chief financial officer. “We will remain selective in the new construction projects we undertake to minimise risk and preserve capital.”
UAE construction companies such as DSI, Arabtec and Depa have been expanding their global footprint amid rapidly rising building activity across the region.
Total planned and unawarded contracts from the GCC region now stand at about US$1.04 trillion according to Meed – or about two thirds of the region’s GDP.
DSI has been extending its reach beyond its specialist origins to pick up larger and more mainstream construction orders, helped by a number of acquisitions in recent years.
This week one of its units won a Dh375 million contract to build The Pointe retail development on the tip of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah artificial island, close to the Atlantis hotel.
The GCC remains the key growth market for the company, with 42 per cent of its order book originating out of Saudi Arabia.
It has also expanded across the Levant region, with Jordan contributing about 12 per cent of new project awards last year.
DSI hopes to add more projects across the oil, gas and rail sectors in the year ahead.