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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Marka woes deepen as restructuring continues

Retail investor posts three month loss of Dh126 million

Marka invested in Cheeky Monkeys in 2015, offloading its stake earlier this year. Ravindranath K / The National
Marka invested in Cheeky Monkeys in 2015, offloading its stake earlier this year. Ravindranath K / The National

Marka reported deepening losses for the second quarter on Tuesday, with falling revenues compounded by rising expenses and impairments.

The Dubai-based retail group said that losses for the three months to the end of June rose to Dh126 million, compared with Dh17.9m in the same period last year, and Dh27.8m in the first quarter of the year.

The company booked a Dh55m property and equipment impairment for the quarter, and saw general and administrative expenses more than double to Dh44.8m.

Revenues meanwhile fell by about a third to Dh25.5m.

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“Over the past 12 months, Marka has faced unprecedented changes in the region’s retail markets, driven by changing consumer behaviour and geopolitical influences,” said Marka’s chairman Khaled Bin Kalban.

“Our focus moving forward is on the local and regional growth potential of our strong portfolio of F&B brands.”

Marka announced a restructuring programme in February, after missing its target of turning a profit after two and a half years of trading.

The company, which listed in September 2014, expanded rapidly into retail, food and beverage and children’s entertainment outlets, but has been caught out by falling disposable incomes, and the rising cost of tourism in the UAE as a result of the strengthening dollar.