x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Egypt election rocks foundations for Amer

What's Down: Egypt's property sector still suffering from the effects of the revolution last year. Amer Group, a luxury developer, posts 54 per cent drop in first quarter profit.

Profits of property companies in Egypt have fallen. Dana Smillie for The National
Profits of property companies in Egypt have fallen. Dana Smillie for The National

A property developer based in Cairo has slid further into the red more than a year after the revolution that ousted the president Hosni Mubarak.

Amer Group, an Egyptian developer of mixed-use and family-oriented resort destinations, posted a 54 per cent drop in the first quarter this year.

Net profit fell to 61.7 million Egyptian pounds, from 133.9m pounds in the same period last year, according to a statement posted on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) website.

"Most developers are still suffering and not selling as much as they would love to," said Wafik Dawood, the head of institutional sales at Mega Investments Securities in Cairo.

Amer generates income from two lines of business: sales from residential property branded Porto; and non-residential operations from the ownership of malls, hotels and restaurants. Property and tourism have both been hit hard as visitors who traditionally went to Cairo have opted to go to Dubai as violence continues to shake the Egyptian city ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

"Many developers are hoping for a pick-up in activity after the presidential elections," Mr Dawood said.

"Many are aiming to see improved results in the second and third quarter."

Voters will cast ballots on May 23 and 24 for a president for the first time since Mr Mubarak's departure. The result will be published on June 21.

"All eyes are now on the political scene," Mr Dawood said.

Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), the country's biggest developer, yesterday posted a 2.5 per cent rise in profit to 173.7m pounds.

"It's not a fair comparison, because the first quarter of last year was when the revolution took place," Mr Dawood said.

Property companies are dealing with a string of legal challenges to their land holdings since a court ruled last year that a state deal with TMG was illegal.

Amer Group declined 1.4 per cent to 0.70 pounds a share. TMG Holding fell 0.2 per cent to 4.38 pounds a share.

halsayegh@thenational.ae

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