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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 February 2018

Arabtec swings to profit in 2017, beats analysts' expectation

The UAE's top-listed contractor has a project backlog of Dh17.2bn

The company's full-year results beat the mean forecast of Dh102.6m. Silvia Razgova / The National
The company's full-year results beat the mean forecast of Dh102.6m. Silvia Razgova / The National

Arabtec Holding swung to a net profit in 2017, beating analysts’ expectations, as the UAE’s top-listed contractor continues to turn a corner amid a resurgence in infrastructure projects in Dubai.

Net profit attributable to equity holders in 12 months ending December 31 reached Dh123.1 million compared with a net loss of Dh3.4 billion in 2016, it said on Wednesday in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are listed. Revenue grew 12 per cent to Dh9.1bn from Dh8.2bn a year earlier.

The company, in which Aabar Investments holds a 37.7 per cent stakedid not provide breakdown of fourth quarter figures in the preliminary results.

The full-year results beat the mean forecast of Dh102.6m, according to a Bloomberg poll of five analysts. The company’s projects backlog stood at Dh17.2bn at the end of last year.

“Reinforcing our commitment to return to growth and deliver on our strategic roadmap, we have achieved four consecutive quarters of profitability,” said chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt. “With the support of our employees, board, shareholders and other stakeholders, we have stabilised the business in 2017, creating a solid foundation that we will build on through 2018.”

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Last year, Arabtec completed a recapitalisation programme by raising Dh1.5bn via a rights issue and reduction of capital to cancel nearly Dh5bn of accumulated losses from previous years when construction activity dipped.

The company won a number of contracts last year, including work on Expo 2020 pavilion. In the fourth quarter, it finalised a Dh950m contract with Emaar Properties and Dh1.025bn contract with Dubai Properties.

“The Group continued to better leverage synergies from its operating companies and investments through closer integration with its core operations,” said Mr Tyrwhitt.

"Operationally, Arabtec continued to implement more innovative approaches to enhance work and delivery methodologies.”