x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai's Union Properties builds profits by 64%

Union Properties reports a profit for the first quarter

Union Properties, one of Dubai's largest developers, reported a 64 per cent jump in net profit for the first quarter, fuelled by the handover of offices and apartments in two Dubai International Financial Centre projects.

Profit rose to Dh82 million for the quarter, compared with Dh50m in the first quarter of last year. The results include a Dh65m writedown on the valuation of properties, the company reported in a brief statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market website.

Revenue for the quarter jumped 75 per cent to Dh1.4 billion, compared with Dh846bn in the first quarter of last year. Gross operating profit rose from Dh179m for the first quarter of last year to Dh275m.

The company started turning over offices and apartments in Index Tower and Limestone House during the first quarter, two of several projects started before the financial downturn.

Index Tower is an 80-storey development designed by Foster & Partners, with offices and 40 storeys of apartments. Limestone House is a luxury apartment development adjacent to the Gate Precinct.

The company, which also developed MotorCity, the racing car-themed project in Dubailand, reported a Dh1.5bn operating loss for last year. Revenue fell to Dh2.8bn from Dh5.4.bn last year.

Last November the company sold the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai to a private company based in Abu Dhabi for Dh1.1bn.

"The proceeds generated from the transaction will be directed toward reducing the company's overall debt position and completing few remaining assets at our flagship development, the MotorCity," the company announced at the time.

Its share price jumped 31 per cent at the end of March, in large part in anticipation of a positive first quarter. Union, which is 48 per cent owned by Emirates NBD, also announced at the time that it had received a Dh891m loan from a shareholder.

Its shares rose 2.3 per cent yesterday to close at 39.6 fils, off a recent high of 44.4 fils on April 18.