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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Marka loss widens as revenues plunge 68 per cent

Retailer started a restructuring programme last year including selling stores, cutting costs

Dubai-listed retailer Marka, which has posted a fall in revenues for 2017, operates Middle East brands including Morelli's Gelato. Sammy Dallal / The National
Dubai-listed retailer Marka, which has posted a fall in revenues for 2017, operates Middle East brands including Morelli's Gelato. Sammy Dallal / The National

Marka, the Dubai-listed retailer which announced a restructuring last year, widened its loss last year as revenues fell 68 per cent “due to closure of various non-profitable stores”.

Net loss last year reached Dh218.3 million compared with a net loss of Dh150.9m a year earlier, with the bulk of losses (Dh153m) attributed to the first half of 2017 and Dh65m in the second half, the company said on Wednesday in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market.

Total revenues stood at Dh94.3 million for the year ended 31 December 2017, compared to Dh294.1m in 2016. Marka did not disclose how many stores it closed in 2017.

Marka posted deepening losses for 2017 despite starting a restructuring programme last year after failing to turn a profit since listing on the Dubai stock exchange in 2014.

Marka expanded into retail, food and beverage and children’s entertainment outlets in recent years but has been impacted by falling disposable income levels in the UAE.

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Last October, its shareholders backed restructuring efforts that commenced earlier in the year, including plans to sell under-performing assets, restructure debt and contain the company’s costs.

“Over the past few months Marka has restructured its divisions, exited under-performing businesses, and applied a strict cost control programme across the company,” chairman Khaled Bin Kalban told The National in October.

“We expect to see positive outcomes from these activities during the remainder of 2017 and beyond,” he added.

Total assets shrunk by 28 per cent to Dh752.7m in 2017 from Dh1.04bn in 2016, it said on Wednesday.

The company operates a number of fashion, hospitality and sports retail brands, including Carven, Essentiel Antwerp, food and beverage chain Reem Al Bawadi, Morelli’s Gelato and Taste of Italy by Heinz Beck.