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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 August 2018

Majid Al Futtaim's first half revenue soars as expansion reaps benefits

Company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation also rose, by 4 per cent to Dh2.1bn

Majid Al Futtaim launched its first cinema in Saudi Arabia this year. Courtesy Majid Al Futtaim
Majid Al Futtaim launched its first cinema in Saudi Arabia this year. Courtesy Majid Al Futtaim

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF), the shopping malls, retail and leisure group based in Dubai, said overall revenue rose by 13 per cent in the first half of 2018, largely driven by its expansion and diversification efforts.

The company, which has operations across Mena and Asia, said revenue grew to Dh17.8 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose by 4 per cent to Dh2.1bn.

“Our financial results in the first half of the year demonstrate continued growth in the midst of challenging market conditions," said Alain Bejjani, chief executive of MAF - Holding. "Our resilience is strengthened by strategic investments that will future-proof our business and people for the changing world around us."

Mr Bejjani said the firm remained committed to delivering on its growth plans, keeping financial discipline and maintaining careful risk management.

The group’s assets are valued at approximately Dh60.7bn, with a net debt of around Dh11.1bn.

During the first half of 2018, MAF inaugurated its first VOX Cinemas multiplex theatre in Saudi Arabia following the lifting of a 35-year ban on cinemas in the kingdom. The move is part of the firm's plan to open 600 screens in Saudi over the coming five years.

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MAF Ventures’ revenue increased by 13 per cent in the first six months of the year to Dh1.1bn (Dh1.5bn including joint ventures and associates). The diverse portfolio of cinemas, leisure and entertainment, fashion, consumer finance, food and beverage and facility and energy management reported an ebitda increase of 2 per cent to Dh118m.

MAF also opened its first cinema in Kuwait. Three new leisure and entertainment locations were added, including three Magic Planet outlets, the introduction of American Girl to Bahrain and Little Explorers to Saudi Arabia.

The MAF Retail division, meanwhile, added 12 stores, growing its presence to 243 outlets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Carrefour signed an agreement with the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation to open up to 100 Carrefour stores in the country. In addition, Carrefour opened its largest distribution centre in the region which acts as a central receiving and quality control point, offering customers access to a wider range of products.

Retail revenue in the first six months of the year was Dh14.6bn, up 15 per cent on the same period last year, while ebitda increased by 11 per cent to Dh600 million. MAF said both results were substantially driven by the acquisition of Retail Arabia in 2017. In Kenya and Egypt, revenue increased 143 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

The company’s portfolio of malls across the region grew to 23 destinations with the opening of two new shopping centres, My City Centre Al Dhait in the UAE and My City Centre Sur in Oman. The hotel portfolio increased to 13 properties following the addition of Aloft City Centre Deira.

MAF Properties said it registered revenue growth of 1 per cent in the first six months of 2018, primarily driven by its shopping malls business, to reach Dh2.3bn. Ebitda also increased by 1 per cent to Dh1.5bn, contributing almost 70 per cent of overall group ebitda.

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